Norton Road bridge expected to remain closed until August
- Credit: Archant
Repair works on a bridge connecting Baldock and Letchworth are set continue until August, despite being closed for four months already.
Baldock’s Norton Road bridge has been closed since March 5 so the Highways England work – to complete a revamp of the bridge deck and carriageway – could be carried out.
Initially, work on both Norton Road and the Letchworth’s Baldock Lane bridge was due to happen at the same time, from March 5 until April 21.
It was then announced, following a review of the schedule, that repair works on the two bridges would happen at different times – with a new completion date of April 17.
Highways England reopened Baldock Lane, while work continued on the Norton Road bridge, which has remained closed since.
A spokesman for Highways England said more work was needed on both bridges, but Norton Road needed specific parts that were not anticipated.
He said: “Due to the extensive corrosion found within the bridge structure, much more work than anticipated was required due to structural elements within the bridge being beyond repair.
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“Because of the age of the bridge, replacement parts were not available and had to be designed and manufactured specifically for this bridge.
“The new date for the reopening of the bridge is August 3. We apologise for the inconvenience and delay caused during this project.
“Because we now have replacement parts, the forthcoming work on the bridge at Baldock Lane, Letchworth, should progress more quickly as it is of the same design.”
In May, contractor Volker Fitzpatrick stated that waterproofing on both bridges is no longer effective which has caused the water damage and corrosion to bearings, which extended the works further.
The Baldock Lane bridge is set to be closed from July 16 so the repairs can be carried out, it is expected to be completed by September 28.
Up to 900 vehicles a day cross Baldock Lane, with the two bridges providing an important link for the 33,600 residents of Letchworth to head east over the A1(M), and similarly for the 10,300 Baldock residents to be able to cross west.
Costs for the work were originally predicted to be around £550,000, however, it is now forcast to be closer to £800,000.