The closures, between Fairbridge Road and Wedmore Gardens, are to allow vital utility services to be moved from the Upper Holloway Bridge to a specially-made utilities bridge. The road bridge needs to be replaced and the utilities bridge has been built to ensure Londoners do not experience an interruption to their services when it is rebuilt and that future utility work will not result in road closures or disruption. The new utilities bridge was built in June but the cables and pipes could not be moved across at that time due their complex layout, very poor condition and a leaking water main. Now these issues have been safely resolved, the transfer of utilities can be carried out.
· Closures required of part of the A1 Holloway Road to allow complicated movement of fragile utility network
· Most impactful closures will take place when the roads are quietest during school holidays
· Road users are advised to use alternative routes and leave more time for journeys
· £25m replacement of the Upper Holloway Bridge will ensure the A1 is operational for many years to come
· Work timing is vital so that the electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking line can take place on schedule - improving rail services and doubling capacity on this route
Nick Fairholme, Director of Projects and Programmes in Surface Transport at TfL, said: “We apologise to the London Borough of Islington, residents and businesses for the additional disruption this closure will cause, and we will do absolutely everything we can to complete the work as quickly as possible. We discovered unexpectedly complex utility services in and around the Upper Holloway Bridge and are very sorry that this requires us to undertake more work than we had originally planned. But it is vital that this work is completed now so that the electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking line can take place on schedule – improving rail services and doubling capacity on this route. We have re-planned all other non-emergency road works in the area and are undertaking an extensive customer and stakeholder communications campaign.”
Once completed, the new Upper Holloway Bridge will be stronger – to last more than another century – with better surfaces and ultimately upgraded streetlights.
In order to transfer the utilities before the road bridge’s demolition and reconstruction at Christmas, a number of closures will be required from tomorrow, Friday 21 October. Signed diversions will be in place and bus routes 17, 43, 263, 271 and N41 will be diverted, and routes 43 and 271 will also terminate earlier than normal. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times.
The closures of the A1 between Fairbridge Road and Wedmore Gardens will be:
· Friday 21 October 22:00 – Monday 31 October 05:00 - closed to all vehicles in both directions
· Monday 31 October 05:00 – Saturday 24 December 22:00- closed to all vehicles travelling southbound
· Friday 18 November 22:00 – Monday 21 November 05:00 - closed to all vehicles in both directions
· Friday 25 November 22:00 – Monday 28 November 05:00 - closed to all vehicles in both directions
This will be followed by a pre-planned full closure between 24 December 2016 and 16 January 2017, when the bridge will be demolished and replaced. The installation of a new bridge will allow the electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking London Overground line, enabling passenger trains to run again from February 2017.
To mitigate disruption, TfL has re-planned the work at nearby Archway and Highbury Corner and is working with the surrounding boroughs to ban all non-emergency roadworks on nearby roads. TfL has also put in place plans to swiftly remove any vehicles blocking key surrounding routes to help reduce disruption.
To ensure residents, businesses and road users are aware of these closures a comprehensive communications plan has been created. This includes letters to 135,000 local residents and businesses, targeted and wide-reaching emails, radio advertisements and on-site Travel Ambassadors. Signage is in place at bus stops and London Underground stations in the area. Variable messaging signs are in place on the A1, M1 and M25 advising drivers of the closure, and TfL will be providing up-to-date information through the @tfltrafficnews Twitter feed and helping those who normally use the bridge plan their journey with the webpage tfl.gov.uk/upper-holloway-bridge