Toll Bridge Reconstruction

The new bridge

After a life of 111 years, the Whitchurch Toll Bridge crossing the River Thames was completely rebuilt in 2013-14. The new design is closely similar in appearance to the old, but has greater strength.

The bridge closed to traffic on 3rd October 2013 and was originally scheduled to re-open in April 2014. Delays, mainly due to river floods, caused the re-opening date to be postponed twice and the bridge re-opened on 19th September 2014. The temporary footbridge was then removed and the working area on the Pangbourne meadow restored.

The reconstruction project was managed by Oxfordshire County Council on behalf of the Whitchurch Bridge Company. The main contractor was Balfour Beatty Ltd and contract supervision was by Atkins UK. The cost of the project was expected to be £4.3 million but the delays caused an increase to more than £6 million. The Bridge Company was permitted to increase the car toll from 40p to 60p and set the concessionary toll at 40p.

Photograph of bridge taken on 4th March 2015.

Bridge Company’s website

Comprehensive information on the project, including the history of the bridge, drawings showing the new structure, a detailed programme of reconstruction and the answers to many Frequently Asked Questions, can all be found on the company’s website.

Videos of the project by Nick Brazil

Whitchurch Bridge re-opens - 19th September 2014 - view here
Whitchurch Bridge blessing by the Bishop of Oxford - 24th September 2014 - view here

Nick's action-packed 3 minute video of the entire reconstruction project can be seen here

"A Bridge is Reborn", Nick Brazil's documentary about rebuilding the bridge, is now available on DVD at £12.50 (+£2 p&p).  To order a copy, contact him on 0118 984 1602 or email.

Nick also made short videos of all the stages of bridge reconstruction from October 2013.

Stage 1 - this covers the period up to closure day on 3rd October - view here
Stage 2 - taken during October - view here
Stage 3 - taken during November and December - view here
Stage 4 - removal of lattice beams - 19th December 2013 - view here
Stage 5 - river in flood - 7th January 2014 - view here
Stage 6 - transport of lattice beams - 24th March 2014 - view here
Stage 7 - last lattice beams removed - 4th April 2014 - view here
Stage 8 - first piling for the bridge - April 2014 - view here
Stage 9 - first two pilings are cast - 13th, 16th May 2014 - view here
Stage 10 - night work - 19th, 20th May - view here
Stage 11 - pumping concrete into piles on Whitchurch bank - view here
              - concreting abutment and other work - view here
              - 21st May 2014 
Stage 12 - pumping piles mid river - 22nd May 2014 - view here
Stage 13 - installing piers 10 to 16 - June 2014 - view here
Stage 14 - girder delivery - 10th, 11th June 2014 - view here
Stage 15 - girder placement - 13th, 14th June - view here
Stage 16 - towards the Berkshire bank - 16th June - view here
Stage 17 - river banks are joined once more - 23rd, 24th June - view here
Stage 18 - return of the lattice beams - 26th June - view here
Stage 19 - first two lattice beams back in place - 2nd, 3rd July - view here
Stage 20 - lattice beams - the endgame - 7th to 9th July - view here
Stage 21 - concreting the main deck - 17th July - view here