READING Bridge is to be closed to all traffic for up two weeks for essential strengthening work
READING Bridge is to be closed to all traffic for up two weeks for essential strengthening work.
The borough council annnounced yesterday that the 92-year-old structure would be shut from May 18 and that this was likely to cause significant disruption.
It said the bridge, which is a major strategic route, needed essential strengthening and waterproofing to ensure it can continue to carry the amount of traffic it does in future years.
The strengthening project began in the autumn when hundreds of cubic metres of expanding foam concrete were pumped into voids under the bridge. This has not required any closure.
The second week of the May closure coincides with half term, when traffic levels are lower. Fully signed diversion routes will be in place and Reading Buses services will be diverted accordingly.
Tony Page, the council?s lead member for transport, said: ?Reading Bridge carries an average of 24,000 vehicles every weekday. Any full closure will inevitably cause significant disruption, not only in Reading but across the region. By giving people more than 10 weeks? notice and by timing at least part of the closure around the half term break, we hope to minimise this as far as possible.
?The council has no choice but to carry out these works to avoid the permanent lane closures which would be necessary without this strengthening work. We would ask people to bear with us .?