Greyhound Bridge update
The scale of repairs needed to the Greyhound Bridge has pushed back the date for its reopening from the start of August to mid-September.
A £4m renovation project began in January to the 1911 bridge, which was converted from rail to road use in 1972, to ensure it retains the strength to carry big HGVs which are vital for local trade.
Progress has been good over the first few months, however recent work to restore reinforced concrete sections has uncovered damage that is much worse than previous investigations had shown, and will take longer to repair.
The work has been planned so that, once the most significant repairs are complete, the bridge is reopened with a minimum of 2 traffic lanes open, while less disruptive work such as repainting is carried out. It is now expected that the bridge will reopen to 2 lanes of traffic in mid-September, and scheduled to fully reopen to 3 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 onthe Lancaster side of the bridge, and be updated weekly.
Regular updates on progress will also be posted under 'latest news' on the Greyhound Bridge page on the county council's website. Go towww.lancashire.gov.uk and search 'Greyhound Bridge'.