History is made with a huge flat-pack bridge

The flat-pack bridge at Berewood in Waterlooville Picture: Stuart Boreham
The flat-pack bridge at Berewood in Waterlooville Picture: Stuart Boreham
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  • Schoolchildren on new estate must make half mile diversion to get to school to avoid river
  • New technique means flat pack bridge could be dropped into place
  • It will open by the end of the year
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WORK to install a history-making bridge to reduce children’s walking time to school is almost complete.

Grainger’s, the developer of Berewood Estate in Waterlooville, has installed the longest flat-pack bridge in the world over the River Wallington.

The newly installed flat pack bridge at Berewood has been an incredibly exciting project for us all as we are always looking for new design initiatives to pursue

Lisa Turley

Wellington Park, a development of 550 homes, is cut off from 3,000-home Berewood to the south, meaning children from Wellington Park have to take a half-mile diversion to get to Berewood Primary School.

Although the river is not very wide, it is deep.

The route takes children across Hambledon Road and into Waterlooville.

The flat-pack bridge was designed by engineers at Queen’s University, Belfast.

They used a pre-cast concrete system to allow the bridge to be transported quickly and easily before being lifted, where it transformed under gravity into an arch.

It spans 53ft and weighs almost 300 tons.

It was successfully installed over the river in just one day.

Lisa Turley is the development project manager at Grainger. She said: ‘The newly-installed flat-pack bridge at Berewood has been an incredibly exciting project for us all as we are always looking for new design initiatives to pursue.

‘The bridge will enable those living at Berewood to access amenities with greater ease, particularly children making their way to the local primary school.

‘The bridge is currently undergoing some finishing touches, but we are very much looking forward to it opening at the end of next month.’

The River Wallington itself is currently being ecologically restored as part of Grainger’s new community nature reserves at the Berewood site.

The river was previously an overgrown concrete culvert in desperate need of restoration.

But it will soon develop into a meandering channel running through one of the 17.5 hectare nature reserves.

Although work has now begun on the river, it will be a number of years before the restoration work is complete.

The Berewood development will also include a new town park and cemetery once all the work on the estate is finished.