New traffic measures have been put in place on the historic Chetwynd Bridge at Alrewas, to allow motorists to continue to use it safely.
The Grade II listed structure, which dates back to 1824, spans the River Tame and was designed by Joseph Potter, the County Surveyor.
In the long term, Staffordshire County Council hopes to secure funding to construct a new bridge and transform the 19th century bridge into a cycle link and walk-way to the National Memorial Arboretum.
However, following a safety inspection, the cast iron roadside parapets were found to be no longer fit for purpose, with a high risk they couldn’t withstand any traffic impact.
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:
This bridge has served the community well and it would be fantastic to see it transformed into a cycle and pedestrian walkway to the arboretum in the long run.
However, time has taken its toll on the parapet side railings and masonry and, as this is a Grade II listed structure, they can’t be upgraded or replaced.
Safety of course is paramount, so we have reduced the lanes from two to one to allow motorists to continue to cross safely in both directions on a daily basis.”
Traffic is being managed with temporary lights and the speed limit has been reduced from 60mph to 40mph. Concrete safety barriers will be set up in the coming days and permanent traffic lights installed later this year.
Although it is an A-road, the road across the bridge is largely used by local traffic and alternative travel routes are available in the area.
The county council is preparing a bid for funding for the new bridge as part of the Government’s Highway Challenge Fund.