Greyhound Bridge in Lancaster will remain closed until mid-September due to it being more damaged than first thought.
The bridge was initially due to re-open in early August. Lancashire County Council’s £4m renovation project began in January, resulting in diversions being put in place over Skerton Bridge and changes to the traffic system in the city. The county council said that progress had been good over the first few months, but recent work to restore reinforced concrete sections has uncovered damage that is much worse than previous investigations had shown.
Once the most significant repairs are complete, the bridge is due to re-open with a minimum of two traffic lanes, while less disruptive work such as repainting is carried out. It is now expected that the bridge will reopen to two lanes of traffic in mid-September, and scheduled to fully reopen to three lanes of traffic in winter 2018.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re sorry the repairs to the Greyhound Bridge will take longer than had originally been planned, which is due to the condition of the reinforced concrete deck being worse than investigations had shown, and means more of these sections need to be replaced.
“We’re working closely with the contractor to minimise the impact on the timescales. For example we’ve introduced night-time working to remove the debris of the old concrete and ensure the work being done during the day can progress as quickly as possible.”
“This is a once-in-a-generation maintenance scheme, which means that once complete it will be decades before work to the bridge on this scale is needed again. “We’re sorry for the added inconvenience, but hope people will understand that it is absolutely necessary to do this extra work to the bridge to maintain its strength.
“We’ll also be working with the contractor to find any opportunities to make up time and reopen the bridge as soon as we can.”
The electronic variable message sign currently situated on the Morecambe side of the bridge will be relocated to the grassy area on the Lancaster side of the bridge, and be updated weekly.