Bridge works cause road chaos

OVERRUNNING road works on the A12 caused chaos for rush hour drivers today .Contractors working on the Bucklesham bridge, over the A12, were due to finish today's phase of their work at 7am but because of delays were expected to take until 9.30am.

OVERRUNNING road works on the A12 caused chaos for rush hour drivers today .

Contractors working on the Bucklesham bridge, over the A12, were due to finish today's phase of their work at 7am but because of delays the work was not finished until 9am.

Diversions remained in place for traffic travelling in both directions, but some drivers chose to try unofficial routes, clogging up other nearby roads.

The stretch of the A12 affected is between the Seven Hills junction, where the A12 meets the A14, and the Newbourne Road junction in Bucklesham.

The delay in work was blamed on problems removing one of the beams from the bridge work.

Suffolk County Council is doing the work because of damage caused when a digger hit the bridge in February.

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The bridge has been closed to vehicles since June 11 but the overnight work from yesterday into today was the first of five planned overnight closures for demolition and heavy lifting work to replace beams.

A Suffolk police spokesman said they had received reports of “chaos on the roads” from drivers. The knock-on effects of the delays lasted until around 11am.

Traffic travelling towards the A14 was diverted at the Foxhall roundabout, towards Bixley Road and Felixstowe Road.

However, many drivers were choosing to take their own diversion through Brightwell and the Trimleys.

Those travelling Woodbridge-bound were diverted at the Nacton interchange, to St Augutine's roundabout, Heath Road, Woodbridge Road and Kesgrave Main Road.

Overnight closures are also planned for tonight, tomorrow, Saturday and Tuesday .

The night closures were planned to coincide with nine overnight closures, already planned by council for the resurfacing of the Foxhall roundabout and the A12, between the Foxhall and BT Martlesham roundabouts.

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INSURERS of the lorry which hit Bucklesham bridge back in February have been left with bill for half a million pounds to repair the damage.

Half the bridge over the road is having to be replaced after the main beam suffered serious damage when it was hit by a waste compactor being taken from the Viridor recycling centre at Foxhall.

The A12 was closed while the wreckage was removed, but the bridge suffered serious damage and one lane has been closed since.

Now engineers are repairing it and speed restrictions have been in place on the A12 since earlier this month.

Although the bridge work is being carried out by Suffolk County Council, taxpayers will not have to pay a penny towards it.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: “The full cost is being met by the insurers of the lorry, not a penny will be coming out of council funds.

“As such the exact figure is not being published, but it will not cost the people of Suffolk anything at all.”

However the Star understands that the total cost of the repairs are in the region of £500,000 - not taking into account the cost of damage to the lorry and compactor themselves.

Repairs to the bridge could not start until an agreement was reached between the insurers and the council - and were then postponed until after the Suffolk Show.

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