Our work to provide a new wider, safer bridge across the River Wey from Walnut Tree Close to Bedford Plaza continues from Thursday 12 August.

Problems encountered during the building of the foundations on the west side of the river have meant a change to the original work schedule. Work will now continue this week and traffic lights on Walnut Tree Close opposite the railway station will help us to do this safely.

A section of the River Wey will be closed to river traffic for five days, from Monday 20 to Friday 24 September, between Millmead Lock and Dapdune Wharf, as we lift the new bridge into place. The old bridge will remain open until Sunday 24 October before being removed. The new bridge is expected to open to the public from Thursday 4 November, with the towpath fully reopening on Thursday 18 November.

Lead Councillor for Development Management and ward councillor for Friary and St Nicolas, Cllr Tom Hunt says:

“The wider and more accessible bridge will create a better and safer route for pedestrians and cyclists to travel between the town centre and the station, rather than the narrow pavement on Bridge Street which has been an accident black spot. The new bridge gives step-free access, has textured paving to help visually impaired people, and will have improved lighting.

“It will be the first new bridge in the town in many years and will also include a sweeping ramp and steps down to Bedford Plaza which will open up and transform the whole area. The new landscaping around the site will complement the structure and ensure the space is welcoming and encourages people to not only walk and cycle from the station into the town centre but to use the area as somewhere to sit and relax. The plaza is expected to be completed in Spring 2022.

“Along with the bridge, plans to make our town centre better for residents, commuters and visitors include an improved station, riverside access for both pedestrians and cyclists, new landscaping, public art and open space for community events.”

The full proposed timeline is:

Thursday 12 August: work restarts on Walnut Tree Close

Thursday 12 August – Friday 22 October: single lane closure on Walnut Tree Close

Saturday 18 September: River Wey Festival at Dapdune Wharf

Monday 20 – Friday 24 September: closure of River Wey at Walnut Bridge to instal new bridge

Saturday 23 October – Thursday 18 November: full closure of section of Walnut Tree Close outside railway station

Monday 25 – Friday 29 October: closure of River Wey at Walnut Bridge to remove old bridge

Thursday 4 November: new Walnut Bridge opens to public
Thursday 18 November: towpath fully reopens

The new bridge will be lifted into place next to the current bridge by a crane on the east bank of the river.

Whilst this section of the River Wey is closed, boats travelling north can be moored at Millmead Lock or turn around on the bend at Guildford Rowing Club. Those travelling south can be moored or turn around at Dapdune Wharf.

A small part of the towpath will also stay closed until Wednesday 17 November, which means that pedestrians and cyclists need to continue to take a short diversion. The diversion is in place from Onslow Street to the south and along Walnut Tree Close to Aquatico at the north end. A step-free alternative route is available between Onslow Street to the south and along Walnut Tree Close to the railway bridge over the River Wey at the north end.

Access along the towpath up to the Walnut Bridge construction site is still possible but people wishing to continue their journey past the site must follow the diversion as the steps beside Walnut Bridge are closed.