A BUSY commuter route will reopen earlier than expected.
As previously reported in The News, Northern Road Bridge, in Cosham, Portsmouth, has been closed to most traffic since workers began replacing it in February.
It was due to be shut until July – but things are going ahead of schedule so it will reopen by Monday.
But project manager Ashley Chaplin warned drivers to continue expecting delays after because the project is far from over – the overall project is expected to end at some stage next winter.
Now that work to replace the eastern side of the bridge has almost been completed, the same will be done to the western side.
Once the bridge reopens traffic will have to use narrow lanes and the speed limit reduced to 20mph.
‘We’re very pleased the bridge will be opening early, but this project is still a long way from being finished,’ Mr Chaplin said.
‘The period when the bridge was closed was always going to cause the most disruption for the local community and everyone involved has worked extremely hard to ensure it reopened as soon as possible.
‘We’re grateful to residents and motorists for their patience during the work and hope they will continue to bear with us for the duration of the project.
‘There will continue to be disruption, but everyone seems to appreciate it’s for essential work.’
Mr Chaplin previously warned that neighbours should expect noise late at night because workers need to get things done when trains aren’t running through Cosham.
While cyclists will be allowed to use the bridge again, they are being asked to help congestion by taking a central position in their lane.
Vehicles are being asked to take extra care going passed them.
The project began in September last year after the Department for Transport agreed to put £11m into it. The council put forward an extra £1.5m.
A one-way system around High Street, Cosham, has been in place since the work began and the council is consulting with residents about the possibility of making it permanent.