Reopening date announced for Elvet Bridge in Durham will reopen to traffic after being closed off for more than a year
The completion date for critical repairs to a bridge which has forced traffic to take a diversion for miles to reach part of a city centre has been revealed.
Since that time, Durham County Council has said major progress has been made and the central span of the bridge has been lowered back into position, allowing the project to move into the final phases.
But as the work progressed, it become apparent some additional concrete repairs are required, and it is now expected the bridge will reopen at the end of October.
The council says it is continuing to work closely with contractor Balfour Beatty to monitor the impact on the overall programme and is looking at other areas to potentially claim back project time.
So far, works have seen the lifting and supporting of the central section of the bridge whilst work is undertaken on the deck joints, alongside the extensive concrete repairs.
The bridge deck is also being waterproofed and resurfaced to extend the life of the bridge, which took an average of 17,000 vehicles a day before it closed.
Improved drainage systems and protective coatings to the concrete are being renewed, with the work also being carried out to avoid more extensive and prolonged repairs being required in the near future.
Alan Patrickson, the council’s corporate director for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “This is a complex civil engineering project and it is really important for the city as it is a vital link.
“Our contractors have been working through the coronavirus pandemic and prolonged winter weather.
"Despite these challenges, we can assure everyone that excellent progress is being made.
"We do understand that the closure of New Elvet Bridge has caused disruption but it is important that these projects are completed to the highest standards.”
Letters have been sent to businesses and residents to update them on the project.
There are still some areas of concrete which require replacement, which will result in some disturbance.
This will be kept to a minimum, with these works expected to be complete by July.
Meanwhile, diversions will remain in place, with updates and information available via www.durham.gov.uk/newelvet.