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Osborne Helped to Bridge the Gap

Osborne successfully replaced the Smallmead Bridge near Reading, West Berkshire during a 52-hour closure over the Easter Bank Holiday.

Following weeks of careful planning and preparation, work began on the Good  Friday night, seeing the reconstruction of the superstructure.  Pre-cast concrete beams formed the deck, with parapets for high-sided vehicles, and brickwork repairs took place to the abutments and wingwalls.  The main task was finished with hours to spare and non-critical repairs were undertaken to maximise the benefits of the closure, before handing back to Network Rail.

No complaints were received during the two days and three nights of work, and local residents even baked Easter cakes to thank the team for their hard work.

Osborne Project Manager, Julian Wisbey said:  “This was a great project for the team; challenging, and it required a great deal of careful planning and coordinated delivery, but we are delighted with the results.  This new bridge meets very high safety standards and will serve its purpose for many years.”

Further to thanks received from Network Rail’s chief executive, Mark Carne, for the successful delivery of the Smallmead Bridge replacement and other works undertaken over the Easter weekend, Francis Paonessa, Network Rail Managing Director of Infrastructure Projects, added: 

“I would also like to extend my thanks to everyone who was involved in delivering the massive amount of work over the bank holiday period; safely and collaboratively.

To ensure minimal disruption for passengers, we took a great deal of learning from the issues we faced at Christmas and New Year. This involved better forward planning, improved project and operational contingency planning, improved management of contractors and early engagement with the travelling public. A tremendous team effort by all, that certainly paid off.

As Mark said, we have now set the standard for our passengers, the government and the industry and must continue to deliver all of our planned works this way.  Once again, thank you for your efforts and keep up the good work.”

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