Motorists face months of delays with major works on bridge into Bury St Edmunds

Westley rail bridge,Bury St Edmunds ANL-150705-090954001
Westley rail bridge,Bury St Edmunds ANL-150705-090954001

Motorists could face another nine months of delays as talks continue over major works on a bridge into Bury St Edmunds.

The Westley Rail bridge, on Newmarket Road, was made a single lane to traffic more than a year ago in preparation for work to fix ‘significant structural weaknesses’.

A planning notice for the work, spanning up to January 31, has now been made but a start date is yet to be finalised due to ongoing negotiations between Suffolk County Council and Network Rail.

A council spokesman said: “The strengthening works required are extensive and relatively complex, and there are a number of significant issues that still need to be finalised and approvals obtained before the work can be started on site.

“The detailed design and check of the strengthening works are almost complete and we are now working closely with our contractor in planning the construction phase of the work.

“A significant part of the works will need to be undertaken at night when there are no trains running on the tracks, and ‘track possessions’ will need to be obtained from Network Rail to facilitate this.

“We are currently negotiating with Network Rail to obtain the track possessions that will be required to complete the works.

“Our contractor is also currently considering the details of the traffic management arrangements that will need to be utilised to undertake the works.”

He added that as soon as the Network Rail negotiations have been completed, the authority will be able to provide details on the timing and duration of the works.

The council aims to complete the work by the end of the year and once finished, the bridge will be able to carry two lanes of unrestricted traffic again.

Suffolk County Cllr Terry Clements, who represents the Thingoe South division, said it was ‘brilliant news’ that work could start soon to fix the problems with the bridge.

He said: “It’s off putting when you’ve got that traffic light on there especially at work time. It’s a good road and I’ve often said that it’s going to be one of the main routes into Bury.”