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Work to replace town centre Walnut Bridge begins

Preliminary work to replace the existing pedestrian Walnut Bridge with a new, iconic 'cable stay' bridge, will start later this month.

The first stage will involve a range of geotechnical surveys to understand ground conditions, which will inform the design of the bridge - particularly the bridge foundations. Following the detailed design, on-site construction work is due to start in the autumn of 2018.

Due to the essential initial surveys, the Walnut tree by Walnut Bridge, between the Bishop's Wharf and Billings buildings, will need to be removed now rather than later during construction of the new bridge.

Cllr Matt Furniss, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance, says: "We care about all our trees in Guildford, and on this occasion unfortunately it is not possible to extract, move and replant the existing tree that will enable the new Walnut Bridge.  We will plant a replacement tree as close as possible to its current location. The iconic design of the new bridge will act as a focal point for the regeneration of Bedford Wharf, as well as provide improved, wider access for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Moving forward, we are keen to invest money into the planting and aftercare of new trees in appropriate locations around the borough, alongside positive, transformation changes and the regeneration of Guildford town centre."

Walnut Bridge lies over the river Wey between the Billings and Bishop's Wharf buildings on the west side, and the Bedford Wharf area on the East. The new replacement bridge will enable sustainable travel to the town centre on a key pedestrian and cycle route to and from Guildford Railway Station..

The new bridge is a project funded by EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership and Guildford Borough Council, and delivered by both Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council. It forms part of the Guildford Town Centre transport package, which consists of a number of schemes to encourage walking and cycling to and through the town centre.

Published on 10 February 2017