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Official! No more day bridge closures

PUBLISHED: 13:17 25 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:14 05 July 2010

additional closures for work on Lowestoft's bascule bridge are due to be announced in the next few days.

It comes after a government minister intervened in the long-running saga of delayed repair work to the bridge, in a bid to get the project completed.

additional closures for work on Lowestoft's bascule bridge are due to be announced in the next few days.

It comes after a government minister intervened in the long-running saga of delayed repair work to the bridge, in a bid to get the project completed.

Transport minister Tom Harris stepped in after being contacted by Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who has become increasingly frustrated by the impact of the over-running Highways Agency scheme.

In a letter to Mr Blizzard, the minister recognised the impact closures of the bridge have had on the town and pledged there would be no more daytime shutdowns, despite contractors needing to make up lost time on the £2.3m project.

Mr Harris said: “I share your concern about the delay to the scheme and the impact of the bridge closures on the community in Lowestoft, and have made inquiries with the Agency.

“The agency is fully aware of the importance of the bridge to the economy and life of the town. I can assure you that the agency is doing all it can to conclude the works as quickly as possible and mitigate the disruption caused to local businesses and the travelling public.

“The contractor has been told that no more daytime closures of the bridge will be permitted and was instructed to provide a firm programme of dates for agreement of all necessary closure periods to complete the works.”

This week, Mr Blizzard urged the agency - an executive arm of the Department for Transport - to publicise the closures as soon as possible.

The project to repair and replace the bridge's hydraulic mechanisms should have been finished before Christmas but was delayed after key parts were found to be in a much worse condition than expected.

Mr Blizzard said: “I'm pleased that the minister has looked into this and that he shares my concerns. It's obvious he has stepped in and given the Highways Agency something to focus its attention and bit more.

The Highways Agency did not wish to add to Mr Harris's comments.

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