Work to inspect, upgrade and repair Sopley Bridge in Christchurch is set to be carried out by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council next week.

Work to inspect, upgrade and repair Sopley Bridge in Christchurch is set to be carried out by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council next week.

The essential maintenance on the bridge, which spans the A338 Spur Road and is located on the Avon Causeway, is scheduled to take place between Monday 4 and Friday 22 March.

During this period, the bridge will be temporarily closed to all traffic, with access directly into properties and businesses maintained, but anyone wishing to cross the A338 will need to follow the temporary diversions in place during this period.

The work, which is being funded by central government, will see new waterproofing membrane installed on the bridge as well as the replacement of defective expansion joints and concrete.

A detailed inspection of its post-tensioned cables to ensure its structurally sound will also be carried out.

These important measures will not only enhance its safety and durability but prevent water damage which would require more frequent repairs and incur further maintenance costs in the future.

During the work, all traffic will be diverted via Ringwood Road, Stoney Lane, Christchurch bypass, Fairmile Road, Hurn Road, Christchurch Road and the Avon Causeway, with clear signage in place along all the affected areas.

Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy and BCP Council, said: “This essential maintenance work is key to improving the infrastructure of Sopley Bridge for years to come.

“With around 9,000 vehicles using the bridge daily and bad weather taking its toll, it’s vital we regularly assess its safety, functionality and resilience, which benefits all those who use it.

“We understand the frustrations road closures and diversions can cause and ask everyone to bear with us as we seek to complete this work in full and on time. We also advise motorists to leave a bit more time for any planned journey’s over the next couple of weeks.

“We are aware this work comes at a time when there are several other large highway improvement projects ongoing, but any disruption in the short term comes with significant benefits in the long run.”

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