The great Cow Lane bottleneck bridge which has proven to be a source of frustration with many commuters from Caversham was finally demolished over the weekend and it reopened to traffic in time for Monday morning.
The final phase of the reconstruction will mean double-decker buses will be able to use the road allowing for bus routes to be potentially opened from caversham to Tilehurst. The new wider road also allows for two way traffic to pass through safely to relieve the frequent delays at peak times, as well as reducing the risk to cyclists.
Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning and Transport, said: “I would like to thank everyone working on the demolition for their efforts in ensuring the work was completed over the weekend, meaning the road could open in good time for the Monday morning rush hour. I would also thank residents for their patience over the weekend during the closure. The demolition of the old bridge is a significant landmark in this project which, when complete, will bring major benefits to the west of Reading and the Oxford Road.”
The widening of the road to pass under to new bridge portal, now opened up after the old bridge removal, is expected to be completed before next year’s festival at the end of August 2018. Also provided from or before this date will be a new shared use footpath and cycleway that will be introduced through the current bridge portal.
Shyam Samani, project manager for Network Rail, said: “The demolition of the arch bridge at Cow Lane in Reading was successfully completed over the weekend, with the road reopening at 3am on Monday. I am delighted that we have been able to complete this work according to schedule, meaning that we will not require an additional closure of the road next weekend.”
Source: Reading Council