'Safety risk' Blackpool bridge could be closed for months
A Blackpool bridge could be shut to traffic for several months after inspections revealed it posed a safety risk.
Harrowside bridge was closed on Wednesday afternoon. Pedestrians are still able to use the footpath but cars, buses and lorries are banned.
The Gazette understands the closure could be in place for several months.
Businesses on the bridge will be open as usual and rail services are not affected.
Blackpool Council said engineers have identified the bridge as a safety risk to the public and it must now be closed until further notice.
Recent checks have revealed that steel reinforcements have corroded by 40 per cent which means that essential repair work will need to take place.
Blackpool Council is working closely with Network Rail to undertake the repair work and aim for it to begin later this year when work will also be carried out on Squires Gate Bridge.
The works will be carried out when the rail line between Blackpool South and Kirkham is closed.
Drivers are advised that traffic travelling northbound will be diverted along Clifton Drive, Burlington Road West, Bond Street, Watson Road and Lytham Road.
Southbound traffic will be sent along Lytham Road, Squires Gate Lane and Clifton Drive.
John Blackledge, Director of Community and Environmental Services at Blackpool Council, said: “We have had to close Harrowside bridge with immediate effect due to safety reasons.
“We regularly carry out inspections to make sure road users are safe and a recent inspection revealed that the bridge repairs are required urgently.
“We need to undertake maintenance work to the bridge’s deck supports which is why the bridge will now close until further notice.
“We will be working with Network Rail and will update our website as soon as possible.
“Drivers are advised to be aware of diversions that are in place and to plan trips in advance. Access for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists will be maintained throughout the work.
“We apologise for the inconvenience during these essential works.”
For more information and updates on the scheme including road closures and diversion routes visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/Harrowside