Work begins ahead of multi-million pound Cosham bridge

PREPARATION Survey work starts on Northern Road bridge in Cosham.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (121258-2)
PREPARATION Survey work starts on Northern Road bridge in Cosham. Picture: Paul Jacobs (121258-2)
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WORK has started on Cosham railway bridge ahead of its multi-million pound replacement this autumn.

Portsmouth City Council started preparatory work on the Northern Road bridge on Monday.

Cones have been placed in the road to narrow lanes and a footpath has been closed.

The work is expected to last until Friday.

Workers are carrying out environmental surveys in the area and ensuring the bridge is ready to be replaced later this year.

The authority was awarded £11m from the government to replace the bridge last year and will be injecting £1m of its own funds into the scheme.

An inspection was carried out on the bridge – which has been in place since 1927 – in 2005 and revealed it is in a poor condition.

Planners agreed to the replacement in December 2009, which is hoped to give the bridge a 125-year lifespan.

It is suffering from crumbling concrete and work was carried out on the bridge to make the road narrower in an attempt to help it last longer.

A spokesman for the city council said contracts have been submitted to tender to find a firm to replace the bridge and said the latest work will not lead to road closures or affect traffic.

The authority added local businesses had been informed of the work but Damien Shawyer, owner of Cartek Garage Services in Northern Road, said he has yet to receive a letter.

Mr Shawyer said: ‘We haven’t been affected by this latest work.

‘People who use our garage usually live in Cosham rather than people entering it but when work starts in the autumn it could hinder people accessing us.

‘It will depend on how traffic is around the roundabout.

‘There will be traffic chaos when the work starts.’