High Bridge

High Bridge Repair Work Begins Next Week

  • Work on the Grade II Listed bridge will begin on Tuesday 9 July
  • The repair is part of a £4m investment in bridges and other structures around Reading 

VITAL repair work to High Bridge on Duke Street will begin on Tuesday 9 July.

The 18th century, Grade II Listed structure requires essential work to restore the parapets, or walls alongside the pavements, which have been deteriorating. The work will last 17 weeks, with the bridge set to fully reopen again on Tuesday 5 November.

The work forms part of a £4m, two-year investment in bridges and other structures around Reading. This includes the current replacement of the King’s Meadow footbridge, which will benefit pedestrians and cyclists thanks to a wider, modern structure.

Temporary scaffolding will be in place at High Bridge, which carries all types of traffic southbound and buses, taxis and bikes northbound. A single lane closure will be in place for the duration of the works (9 July to 5 November) with temporary lights allowing traffic to still cross in both directions. In addition, full night closures will be in place from 9pm to 6am on:

  • 9 to 12 July
  • 30 August to 5 September
  • 24 to 29 October

Pedestrian and cycle access over the bridge will be maintained at all times. During the three full closures listed above, cyclists will still be able to cross by dismounting and wheeling their bikes along the footway.

This work is all being undertaken by the Council’s Highways team, who will also be refurbishing the Orbit Footbridge, behind Queens Road Car Park, this year as well as strengthening sections of the Kennetside retaining wall. Through its consultants, the Council inspects all bridges and structures on a cyclical basis and those requiring maintenance works are actioned for repair.

Chris Wheeler, Assistant Director for Environmental and Commercial Services at Reading Borough Council, said:

“Resident safety is paramount, and High Bridge’s ancient pedestrian walls, or parapets, have deteriorated to the point where action must be taken to repair them. The Grade II listed bridge was built in 1787 of Portland stone to replace an earlier bridge, which allowed traffic from the road network to the south direct access to the “new” Market Place established closer to the Abbey. Maintaining that history is critically important for our town as it is a key landmark of our past.

“This work is part of an ongoing programme to keep Reading’s bridges and structures in good condition, which will also see the Orbit Footbridge refurbished this year along with the current work to replace the King’s Meadow footbridge.

There will be some short-term inconvenience, which we apologise for, but we hope residents agree it is worth it to keep an important crossing point safe and preserved.”