Thrapston Nine Arches Bridge Repairs

Repair and strengthening works on Nine Arches Bridge in Thrapston, over the River Nene on Bridge Street/Kettering Road, will start on 15 February with a current completion date of July 2021.

Specialist bridge restoration contractors working on behalf of Northamptonshire Highways will carry out structural repairs and arch strengthening to all nine arches. Once the strengthening scheme has been completed, the road over the bridge will be resurfaced.

We are aware that Thrapston Bridge is a key access point to the town and the range of businesses and services on offer. It is also a valuable heritage asset, which we are seeking to preserve.

The last time work was carried out on the bridge we were repairing the parapets but essential works are now required on bridge arches to ensure it is strong enough to carry vehicles. These strengthening works will ensure the bridge can continue to be used by traffic accessing the town centre.

What could affect the works?

Works have been planned for some time and we have carried out the required investigatory surveys to determine the work that is needed to take place. We have looked carefully at the methodology to mitigate as much as possible for anything that may affect the programme.

Currently, adjacent land is saturated and river levels are high and works could be affected by bad weather.

Severe weather or flood alerts would mean that the pontoons being used to carry out these essential repairs would need to be removed and would stop works. This would be necessary to ensure nothing affects the flow of the water, which would increase the risk of flooding. Depending on the stage of works, this would mean the road might remain closed for a longer period.

COVID-19 message from Northamptonshire County Council

Government identified key workers are carrying out essential highway works for us, whilst maintaining social distancing and following all COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our workforce and residents.

Northamptonshire Highways, its contractors and suppliers are identified as key workers as defined by the government: 'those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response including those in supply chains', and that these works have been defined as essential works by the government.

Our priority is to keep the highway network open and safe. We are also working to keep on programme with highway works to improve communities and repair roads .

We would like to assure you that all of our site teams have been extensively briefed on all Government Guidance regarding social distancing, increased cleanliness and working within communities. The Government has also permitted that workers, where necessary, may be in groups of more than two to undertake works and that, whilst the 2-meter physical distancing rule should always try and be achieved, this would not always be practicable.

To eliminate the need to knock on doors and help us with our work, please could you move any vehicles parked within the phases of our operations. Thank you for your understanding, patience and co-operation.

If you have any concerns during our operation then please contact the Site Manager for further information.

Traffic management

To ensure the health and safety of the workforce and the public the first phase will be carried out under a 24/7 road closure. During the strengthening procedure the navigation arch will not be able to carry traffic so there will be no through traffic allowed. Access to residents and businesses will be maintained at all times via the diversion route.

When programming repair works, we consider the impact on all road users and plan our works to minimise disruption. We do understand that the closure will be inconvenient but works can only be completed safely and efficiently with this in place. We hope any inconvenience will be tolerated for the duration of the works.

Phase 1

Requires a road closure. Monday 15 February to Friday 26 March. The first stage of the works will take place on the main navigation arch. Bridge Street over the river will be closed at Nine Arches Way from the east and Kettering Road over the bridge from the west will be closed at Chapel Hill.

This will require a six week road closure while this arch is in a temporary state. The navigation channel beneath the bridge will also be temporarily closed to allow the specialist structures team to complete their work safely. The work float (pontoon) will be removed at the end of the day and moored overnight at the adjacent mooring.

Phase 2

Following the six-week road closure and works to the main navigation arch of the bridge, Northamptonshire Highways will continue their work on the other arches to repair and strengthen. Due to the nature of these arches this work can be done safely while allow through traffic across the bridge.

Once all strengthening works are completed we will require a short closure to carry out resurfacing on the road. We will provide information nearer the time.


During the closure, a diversion has been agreed with Highways England to use the A14 and traffic should access Thrapston at Junction 13.

Access to Thrapston

  • Drivers should use A14 Junction 13 from both east and west directions to access the town
  • There will be no vehicle access into Thrapston from the west through Islip, junction 12 of the A14 or from the A6116 from Corby
  • From Corby and the A6116 go straight across the roundabout where you would normally turn left into Islip and Thrapston. Join the A14 at Junction 12 and then take the exit at Junction 13.
  • Access from the A605 from Peterborough, Oundle and the A1 will be as normal, as will the route using the A45 from Rushden, Irthlingborough, Raunds, Wellingborough, Earls Barton and Northampton

Information for residents and businesses

  • Access: A 24/7 road closure will be in place with access to residents and businesses only. Monday 15 February for 6 weeks
  • Pedestrians/Cyclists: Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross the river using the separate footbridge, as works will not affect this. Cyclists will be asked to dismount.
  • Contact: Site Manager, Darek Gutkowski on 01604 883400