Highways chiefs have vowed to reopen St Peter’s Bridge in time for the Christmas lights switch in Burton – despite an attack by vandals.
Industrial spray paint was used to vandalise paving, structures and signs meaning emergency repairs needed to be carried out to allow the bridge to still reopen on November 18.
Mark Deaville, the county council’s cabinet member with overall responsibility for the scheme, said:
We are determined to ensure St Peter’s Bridge is open ahead of schedule in time for the Christmas lights switch on, despite this mindless criminal damage, which risked delaying the reopening.
This was a deliberate large scale act of vandalism and we will be working with the police to do everything we can to make sure the culprits are brought to justice”.
The repairs are part of a £6.1million project to refurbish both St Peter’s Bridge and Burton Bridge. St Peter’s Bridge was originally due to open at the end of November, but the project team has worked hard to bring this forward.
The repairs are absolutely crucial and must be done to safeguard the future use of both St Peter’s Bridge and Burton Bridge.
Burton Bridge will now be repaired next summer after the county council held a consultation with people and businesses to ask when they wanted the work to be carried out.
The project has involved bearing replacement work on St Peter’s Bridge, meaning HGVs and buses can continue to access the town in the future. Waterproofing and resurfacing has also taken place.
Without these vital improvements lorries and buses would not be able to use the bridge by 2019 and it would eventually have had to be closed.
At the request of local businesses, the county council introduced free parking at its on street parking bays in Lichfield Street and Manor Croft. It also brought in temporary parking restrictions in Stapenhill Road and High Street to ensure the streets are clear.
The crews are work on St Peter’s Bridge whenever needed from 7.30am to 10.30pm on weekdays and from 7.30am to 4.30pm on Saturdays.
People can find out more about the scheme and sign up for the news bulletins by visiting: www.staffordshire.gov.uk/burtonbridges