Work on Crossley’s Bridge is going ‘very well’ and the busy resort route should be partially re-open by Friday, April 7, the council has said.
Contractors working to replace the rotting bridge began their Christmas break on Wednesday tea-time, and will not return to site until Tuesday, January 3.
Blackpool Council’s head of highway and traffic management services, Will Britain, said in a letter to residents: “The Plymouth Road bridge refurbishment works are progressing very well, with the water main service diversion works completed ahead of programme.
“Due to this we have taken the opportunity to alleviate any noise disruption to the local residents over the Christmas holidays by suspending the worksite for the festive period.”
From next month, work will be done overnight — with trains between Blackpool North and Layton suspended — on five weekends: January 21/22, 28/29, and February 4/5, 11/12, and 25/26.
“From Monday, March 6, we aim to be working within normal working hours, between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday,” Mr Britain added.
Preparatory work on the bridge – which would have been forced to close if it wasn’t rebuilt because of its rotting condition – started this summer.
It was then closed properly when the Illuminations ended at the start of last month.
The bridge is also being heightened so Network Rail, which has contributed a chunk of the £6.1m bill, can carry out electrification work.
The closure has seen lengthy queues on and around Devonshire Road during the morning and evening rush hours, with the ambulance service voicing concern of six- minute delays in emergencies.
The council introduced several traffic measures and, aside from the first few days of the closure, only accidents have resulted in severe delays. Buses are now stopping in parking bays in Layton, while temporary double yellow lines have been introduced close to Unity Academy in Warbreck Hill Road to allow emergency service vehicles to squeeze past queuing vehicles.
“We apologise for any inconvenience these essential works may cause,” Mr Britain added.