Efforts under way to repair bridge

ENGINEERS called to the scene of an accident after a lorry hit a bridge allowed vehicles to pass underneath it for more than an hour before closing off the road on safety grounds.

ENGINEERS called to the scene of an accident after a lorry hit a bridge allowed vehicles to pass underneath it for more than an hour before closing off the road on safety grounds.

Suffolk County Council today admitted that engineers called to the A12 at Brightwell on Monday arrived on scene an hour and 45 minutes before a decision was made to close off the road.

But the council has today said it felt the road was safe to be open and was only closed later because engineers needed both lanes of the road to carry out the investigation.

A lorry passing in the Colchester direction, between Foxhall and the Seven Hills roundabout, hit a bridge at around 7am pulling chunks of concrete out of it.

Police arrived on scene shortly after the accident and closed the road off while the lorry was removed but re-opened it again at 8.30am for rush hour traffic.

The road was closed again around an hour later due to fears loose debris from the bridge may fall on to passing cars.

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Suffolk County Council, which maintains the road, today confirmed it was informed about the crash at 7.15am and had an engineer on scene by 7.45am.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “The engineer arrived at 7.45am and asked police to close Bucklesham Road which runs over the top of the bridge.

“Traffic continued to flow on the fast lane of the A12.

“It was deemed to be safe to continue letting traffic flow in the fast lane and the road was only full closed later on because engineers needed the width of both lanes to carry out the assessment.

“Both lanes of the carriageway were closed later in the morning for the bridge engineers to carry out their investigations. This remained closed while the investigation and remedial works were carried out.”

Today both lanes under the bridge were due to be kept open and one lane of Bucklesham Road had also been re-opened and was being controlled by traffic lights.

But the road will have to be closed in the future while permanent repair work is carried out on the bridge.

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