Construction of the New River Bridge in Essex Road, Hoddesdon officially started today (15 January). The new bridge will improve access to Hoddesdon Business Park, helping to support local businesses and the local economy.

Representatives from Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire LEP and Broxbourne Borough Council gathered at the site to celebrate the start of works, which are being carried out by the county council’s contractor, Osborne. The scheme, developed by Hertfordshire County Council in conjunction with Broxbourne Borough Council, is supported by an £8.9m Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP, £1.47m from Hertfordshire County Council, and £400,000 of developer funding from Broxbourne Borough Council. 

The new bridge will be built alongside the existing 112 year old bridge on Essex Road to provide a new modern and resilient road link to improve access to and from Hoddesdon Business Park for all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The current bridge will remain open while construction work takes place.

The existing bridge is the only HGV access to the Business Park. This 118 hectare site is one of the largest employment areas in Hertfordshire and is home to major employers, including Sainsbury’s, and houses the Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre. The existing bridge is 60 years old and not built to modern standards. Both the road and pavement are very narrow, making it difficult for large vehicles to pass. This means that the bridge acts as a bottleneck, and any incident that requires repairs to the bridge has a major impact on the business park. The new bridge will add additional resilience to the highway network supporting the existing and future needs of businesses and local road users.

The works are expected to take around 15 months with the new bridge opening to traffic in spring 2021.

Adrian Hawkins, Deputy Chair, Hertfordshire LEP, said: “We are delighted that construction has now started on the New River Bridge - a vital infrastructure project set to significantly improve access into and out of Hoddesdon Business Park, one of the largest employment areas in Hertfordshire.

“The new bridge and link road will fully connect Hoddesdon Business Park with the strategic highway network which will benefit existing businesses, attract new businesses to the business park, and unlock the area’s growth potential.”

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “It’s great news that works are getting underway on this long-awaited scheme. This new bridge is the sort of important infrastructure that we need to be investing in to support our local economy. Local jobs are crucial to achieving sustainable growth and the bridge will make it much easier for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to get to and from the Hoddesdon Business Park, making it a much more attractive place for business.

“With around 100,000 new homes expected in Hertfordshire by 2031, we need to create 100,000 new jobs, so it’s vital that we invest in key schemes to improve the road network to unlock economic potential and keep our economy thriving as the population grows.”   

Councillor Lewis Cocking, Leader of Broxbourne Council, said: “This is an important scheme within the Borough of Broxbourne, one which will reap significant benefits for those that use Hoddesdon Business Park. The improved access to the park will encourage new businesses to set up here, creating more jobs and better prospects for the Borough.” 

Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth and levelling up every region in the UK. 

“I’m delighted that £8.9 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund is being invested in the construction of the New River Bridge. This project will greatly improve access for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to the Hoddesdon Business Park while ensuring that the local road network keeps pace with the scale of development in Hertfordshire. These vital infrastructure projects show that Government is delivering on its promise to boost job creation, invest in local services and unleash the full economic potential of communities in Hertfordshire and across the country.”

Jon Millar, Osborne programme manager, said: “Today has been a great opportunity to mark the start of this long-awaited and much-needed project.  The new link road will improve journey times, resilience and safety, as well as benefitting Hoddesdon Business Park and the local economy.”

For more information, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/newriverbridge