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Further delays expected with ‘faulty’ bridge set to be closed

PUBLISHED: 11:29 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:29 11 December 2019

Work is set to be carried out at Lowestoft's Bascule Bridge. Picture: Nick Butcher

Work is set to be carried out at Lowestoft's Bascule Bridge. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Drivers and mariners are being warned they could face disruption when a busy bridge closes for further overnight works.

The A47 Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft was stuck in the upright position and closed in both directions on November 14 following a technical fault. Picture: Lowestoft CentralThe A47 Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft was stuck in the upright position and closed in both directions on November 14 following a technical fault. Picture: Lowestoft Central

Highways England is set to carry out a weekend of maintenance works to the A47 Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft.

It comes after a "fault was found" during more than 20 nights of works to the bridge between October and November.

Highways chiefs plan to run the overnight works on Friday, Saturday and Sunday next weekend - with drivers likely to face delays as the bridge is closed and traffic is diverted.

The works are scheduled to take place overnight from 8pm to 6am between December 13 and December 15.

In a letter sent to nearby residents about the A47 works on the Bascule Bridge, Highways England said it has had to "re-programme works" and these will "now take place on the weekend of Friday, December 13".

It added: "The October works taking place along the A47 on Bascule bridge to replace one of the motors that helps lift Bascule bridge and a footway plate.

"Once works commenced, a fault was found, and this delayed our progress.

"Due to this we have had to re-programme our works."

With the bridge set to be temporarily closed, traffic restrictions will be in place with a local diversion and A12/A47 diversion routes in operation.

A spokesman for Highways England said: "A bus service will also be provided free of charge for any pedestrians or cyclists wanting to cross Bascule bridge."

A fault with the hydraulics on the A47 Bascule Bridge caused widespread traffic chaos last month, as Highways England engineers were unable to lower the bridge following the planned overnight works.

It meant that instead of re-opening at 6am, the bridge was closed for all of the morning of November 14 and for part of the afternoon, eventually re-opening at about 2.45pm.

At the time Highways officials said the planned overnight works were completed, but "a fault" with one of the bridge's motors meant it remained stuck in the upright position and could not be lowered.

Another "technical fault" was discovered on November 17, meaning the bridge was closed for a further three-and-a-half hours after the planned works.

The gridlocked traffic heightened calls for a third crossing.


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