REASSURANCE has been given that repairs on an essential road bridge will be done as quickly as possible – despite a traffic notice authorising closure for 18 months.
A temporary road closure order has been served for Haslar Bridge, in Gosport, which will be undergoing £1.4m improvements this year.
I am certain it will be given the highest priority.Councillor Peter Edgar
The order says the road can be closed for up to 18 months to all vehicles – but transport bosses say the work will only take 20 weeks.
Gosport councillor Peter Edgar stressed the importance of the road which links the town centre to the southern parts of the peninsula.
‘The Haslar Bridge is an absolutely vital link and the repairs are important or we could loss the bridge altogether,’ he said.
‘I think the workers will know how important the bridge is and will work quickly to ensure it is closed for as little as possible.
‘I am certain it will be given the highest priority.’
Cllr Edgar added: ‘There will be an impact with the bridge being closed because it is a key route to the Submarine Museum and for residents living in that area.
‘But the works are just as important. They need to be carried out to make sure we always have the bridge.’
The decision to make the improvements was agreed by executive member for transport at Hampshire County Council, Cllr Sean Woodward.
He said that although the road closure order was for 18 months, they were planning to complete the repairs within the 20 weeks.
He said: ‘It is standard procedure for temporary road closures to cover a length of time a lot longer than the roadworks.
‘It means that if there is a delay, a new order doesn’t have to be served.
‘It gives flexibility for the repairs but we plan to complete them in the 20 weeks.’
The repairs include protecting the columns, crossbeams and all other parts of the bridge which are prone to corroding as well putting a non-toxic protective coating on sections of the bridge deck.