The iconic Burton Bridge is to fully reopen this afternoon – after major improvement works to safeguard its use finished three weeks ahead of schedule.
Highways crews have been racing ahead of schedule during the warm weather and completed the final resurfacing of the bridge over the weekend. Traffic diversion signs are now being removed and all four lanes will be back in use by later this afternoon.
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:
From the outset we were determined to fully reopen the bridge as quickly as possible, but the crews really have done quite an amazing job to get it back in use three weeks ahead of schedule.
Thanks to this vital investment the use of both St Peter’s Bridge and Burton Bridge have now been safeguarded for at least another generation, which is fantastic news for residents, businesses and the town’s economy.
Our crews have dong an incredible job often working on extremely hot days, but motorists, residents, local businesses, local councillors, emergency services and bus operators have also played a huge part and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work, patience and support in helping ensure this major scheme was completed as smoothly and swiftly as possible.
I am therefore really pleased to say that we are removing all the traffic management signs today and all four lanes will be reopened later this afternoon, in plenty of time for the start of the working week tomorrow morning.”
Crews have been working seven days a week and additional twilight shifts on week days to complete the major strengthening, resurfacing and drainage works as quickly as possible since the scheme began on June 18th and the bridge was due to reopen in time for the new school term in September. The lanes will full reopen today – but some minor footway work will be finished next week.
The improvements are part of a £6.1m scheme to safeguard both Burton Bridge and St Peter’s Bridge – without which St Peter’s Bridge would have ultimately closed and Burton Bridge would have been crippled by congestion and the ongoing repairs needed.
After listening to residents and businesses the county council postponed the work on Burton Bridge from the New Year to June 18th. The length of the scheme had already been reduced by a three weeks before work even began. One lane on the bridge into Burton was also kept open for traffic, instead of the planned full closure of four lanes. Access for cyclists and pedestrians has been maintained throughout the scheme.
People can find out more about the scheme at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/burtonbridges