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What have they done to Wycombe’s Abbey Way Flyover?

| October 24, 2014

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I must say the works to Wycombe’s magnificent Abbey Way flyover are progressing nicely.

A new road surface has been laid and it’s most wonderful to drive over the smooth, even, pothole free road surface. Indeed the ride is so smooth it’s as if an angel was propelling my trusty motor on it’s way over the magnificent structure.

Just think what a catastrophe it would have been it the flyover had been demolished. Thankfully sense prevailed and the structure will be with us for another twenty years and hopefully more so future generations can enjoy it.

At lunchtime today, after finishing my sandwiches, it seemed like a good idea to take a walk over in the direction of the flyover to inspect up close how things were progressing.

Seeing the magnificent pre-cast concrete walls of the structure up close is a most enthralling experience for someone who like my good self who enjoys the wonders of 1960’s brutalist architecture.

I crossed over by the fire station and made my way towards up Lilly’s Walk towards the shopping complex.

As the wall of the flyover rose up into the air I could feel the dominance of the towering structure which now has a sense of permanence to it.

Nearing the end of Lilly’s Walk the equally magnificent Newlands Car Park came into view, a towering temple of homage to the post-war dream the Newlands Car Park is, in my opinion, a temple to integrated transportation. Sadly the loss of the lovely bus station has somewhat derailed the integrated nature of the structure though.

I turned to look back at the Abbey Way flyover. I stood petrified with horror at what I saw.

On top of the retaining wall some workmen were installing what looked like a white ornamental handrail.

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A large drill was being used to make holes in the top of the flyovers retaining wall to affix the support posts for the rail.

‘By George! They’ve ruined it!’, I exclaimed out loud.

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The white rail looks absolutely ridiculous sitting on top of the retaining wall of the flyover. The rail seems to be for decorative purposes as nobody ever walks long that part of the flyover and it’s hardly man enough to stop any vehicles from going over the top.

The time spent by the workmen putting up the stupid looking handrail far outweighs any benefit it brings to the structure. I fear money is being wasted installing an out of place ornamental rail when it is architecturally incorrect and looks daft.

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As you can see from the picture above the handrail doesn’t even lay flat on the surface of the concrete retaining wall of the flyover, crude wedges have been used to ‘level up’ the rail so it appears straight. Look at the third post back in the picture above and you will see that the wedges aren’t even the same size.

If ever there was a competition for ‘bodge job of the year’ no doubt this infernal handrail would probably be on the short list.

It’s highly probable the rail will fail over time leaving an eyesore for us all to see.

Now holes have been drilled into the top of the concrete wall I fear water will be able to penetrate into the structure eventually weakening it over time.

While the saving of the flyover is most welcome, the powers the be must have money to burn installing this daft looking rail.

What do you think?

*My next blog will be published on Tuesday evening around 8pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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