Bridge delays over as work finally finished

Old tram tracks have been uncovered during work to repair Lytham Road Bridge in South Shore, Blackpool.

Old tram tracks have been uncovered during work to repair Lytham Road Bridge in South Shore, Blackpool.

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Traders say they are looking forward to “getting back to normal” when a major road bridge reopens.

Shops and hotels in South Shore say customers have been affected by the closure of the Lytham Road railway bridge, in South Shore, which has been closed since March 10 to allow major strengthening works to take place.

Kathryn Ferrier, owner of the nearby Marlow Lodge hotel, on Station Road, says guests have faced a big diversion to walk from their cars parked on nearby streets as a result of the closure.

She said: “I’m glad it is opening because it’s affected our trade in a certain sense.

“It’s been a pain but we can get back to normal now.”

The bridge was closed on March 10 for the works and was due to re-open in time for the Easter weekend.

But in April, Blackpool Council revealed further strengthening work was needed, delaying the re-opening, angering traders and commuters.

The project also included extensive steelwork repairs, as well as cleaning and painting of the metalwork structure.

It is claimed the works have given the bridge an extended 25 year lifespan.

Mark Yates, owner of Brooks collectables, on nearby Waterloo Road, said: “It is great that it will be open.

“I just hope that they maintain the railway line now.”

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I know people have been keen to get Lytham Road bridge fixed for a while now.

“Before this work, the bridge was badly in need of repair and we wouldn’t have been able to keep it open to any vehicles for much longer. This work has extended the bridge’s lifespan by 25 years.

“Thanks to this, we can be sure that the bridge is strong enough to carry buses for years to come and they will no longer need to travel through the side streets in South Shore, which local businesses told me used to be a problem for them.”

The bridge will reopen from 10am on Friday.

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