Solihull Council’s funding application for £4.49m to replace Fillongley Bridge has been successful.
In November 2019 Council engineers submitted a bid to the Department for Transport’s Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund to support a full replacement of the bridge. The fund is a pot of government cash specifically for schemes which are “difficult to fund.”
A complete replacement is required as both sets of bearings and the bridge’s road surface were getting close to being past their useful life. There was a risk that the bridge and Fillongley Road would have had to close if these works weren’t undertaken.
The 60 year old structure is an important route for commuters and a vital element of the local road network. It has seen decades of constant, heavy use as a key route for goods and services as well as linking communities to where they work.
Councillor Ken Hawkins Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways, said:
“This is fantastic news. As Fillongley Bridge comes to the end of its life it was vital we secured the funding to replace it. We need it for current traffic but it will also play a role when the new employment opportunities are created in and around the HS2 station.
“While there is no immediate risk to road users, it was important we plan for the future and secure the necessary funding to build a new bridge that will last another 60 plus years.
“Now we have the money, we will of course resume our engagement with local residents and local stakeholders to make sure our plans are understood and don’t unnecessarily inconvenience them.
“I know these works will inevitably have an impact on local commuters and those using the A45, but we will do all we can to keep any disruption to a minimum.”