On October 30th Countryside, now part of Vistry Group, and L&Q, the developers of Beaulieu in Chelmsford, announced the opening of the new £14m bridge connecting Chelmsford’s new relief road with the re-aligned Boreham Interchange. This marks the final stage of the developers’ £35 million infrastructure programme to provide a new radial distributor road (relief road) between the A12 and A130.
The new relief road, named the A131 Beaulieu Parkway, provides a more convenient link between the A12 (Junction 19) and the A130 (Essex Regiment Way) and will replace Colchester Road and White Hart Lane as the strategic route to Braintree, Stansted Airport and the M11, ultimately relieving congestion in and around Springfield.
Funded and delivered by Countryside and L&Q, the new relief road also provides access to the planned new Beaulieu railway station which is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2025.
The new bridge is a 161 metre long three-span superstructure of composite weathering steel fabricated girders. It was initially constructed on site in a temporary location between February 2022 and September 2022 before being manoeuvred and cantilevered over the Great Eastern railway line and the A12 north bound slip road in September 2022. From here it was prepared to be moved into its final position where it was lowered onto the permanent substructure spanning the Great Eastern railway line and A12 northbound slip road in October 2022.
Vicky Ford, Conservative MP for Chelmsford, said: “Chelmsford is a growing city and deserves infrastructure that matches our needs. The opening of the new Beaulieu Parkway Bridge is a vital piece of infrastructure which will deliver immediate as well as long term benefits for the people of Chelmsford.
“A huge amount of complex work has gone into the construction of this bridge and will alleviate congestion in the north of Chelmsford. It will also provide access to the new Beaulieu Park Station where construction is well underway and provide a link into the Chelmsford North-East Bypass.
“This has all been made possible thanks to the £250 million housing infrastructure grant from the Government, the largest such grant in the country.”
Martin Leach, Managing Director, Major Projects, Countryside, said: “Countryside and L&Q are enormously proud to announce the opening of the new Beaulieu Parkway bridge and relief road for Chelmsford, the final stage of a £35 million infrastructure programme which will have such a positive impact on the local community.
“The completion of the bridge is a fantastic moment for Chelmsford, facilitating the opening of the new relief road which provides a much more convenient link between the A12 and the A130. This will significantly reduce congestion from local roads in Springfield as well as provide easy access to the new Beaulieu Park station.
“Reaching this point is the result of a long-term collaborative partnership and we would like to thank our partner L&Q, subcontractor Graham and the Countryside development team for their tireless efforts in getting us here.”
Adam Simpson, Director, Development & Project Management, L&Q said: ‘The opening of the Beaulieu Parkway Bridge marks an important milestone for Beaulieu and for Chelmsford as a whole. This is the key step in the completion of our major infrastructure investment that will bring a major improvement to the local road network, reduce congestion, and will make a really positive difference to the lives of local people who will benefit from it.
Transport and connectivity are key ingredients to our placemaking strategy and ensuring the needs of our growing community at Beaulieu. That is why L&Q is proud to have invested alongside our partner, Countryside, as well as Essex and Chelmsford councils, to bring forward vital transport infrastructure such as the new relief road, the new station, alongside new homes and amenities of exemplary quality.’
Cllr Lesley Wagland, OBE, Deputy to the Leader with principal accountabilities on Major Infrastructure Projects and Freeports, said: “I am very pleased the new Beaulieu Parkway bridge and relief road is now open to traffic. It is providing an important strategic link for people commuting from the A130 to the A12 and is intended to help ease congestion around Springfield as commuters journey to and from Braintree, Stansted and the M11 and it will allow easy access to the new Beaulieu Park Station when it opens for service in 2025. Essex County Council has worked hard with partners to put in place a number of transport developments in this part of Chelmsford, from the relief road, to the new bypass and train station, which are vitally important for making sure the transport network is fit for the future and giving local people more safer, greener and healthier choices in how they travel.”