Multi million pound bridge work begins
A VITAL link in the Suffolk/Essex road network has started to be replaced this week as a £2.4 million project finally gets underway.Ballingdon Bridge helps connect towns such as Sudbury, Braintree, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Colchester and Cambridge, and its year-long replacement began yesterday with the impact on traffic and residents expected to be immense.
A VITAL link in the Suffolk/Essex road network has started to be replaced this week as a £2.4 million project finally gets underway.
Ballingdon Bridge helps connect towns such as Sudbury, Braintree, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Colchester and Cambridge, and its year-long replacement began yesterday with the impact on traffic and residents expected to be immense.
The work, which includes introducing a number a traffic management schemes, road closures, diversions and one-way systems, is expected to be so widespread, warning signs are being placed along routes stretching from Chelmsford to Bury St Edmunds.
Ballingdon Bridge spans the River Stour in Sudbury along the A131 primary route linking Essex and Suffolk, and is the only direct access to Sudbury from the south-west.
The bridge has been designed to blend with the sensitive environment along the banks of the river, but its completion will be no small task, and the town is preparing for major disruption throughout 2002.
Disruptions will peak from early March when a one-way traffic system around the town is introduced. A temporary bridge is also being installed over the structure, reducing the road to alternative single lane traffic for up to seven months to allow for demolition/reconstruction operations.
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Delays are expected to be at their worst after the foundations have been built under the existing bridge and the new structure is constructed in various stages.
Over six separate weekends the bridge will have to be closed to all traffic to allow for heavy lifting operations. The closure means motorists travelling towards Sudbury from Essex will have to take a 20-mile diversion to cross the river.