Damaged bridge near Wellingborough to re-open three months ahead of schedule

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File picture

There is good news for villagers in Wollaston and Great Doddington after a closed bridge will re-open three months ahead of originally planned.

The traffic will be flowing once again over Hardwater Bridge by the end of November after the county council has managed to speed up the process of repair works.

The bridge, which crosses the River Nene, has been out of action since May after it was hit  by a lorry.

Just under 2,000 residents from across the area had signed a petition to get the works speeded up, claiming it was causing huge problems and adding long lengths to journey times.

County councillor for the area Robert Gough, who led the petition to get the bridge back into action, has welcomed the news.

He said: “I hope this shows that petitions can have an effect and that everyone who signed it has been able to help move the project forward.”

A county council spokesman on behalf of Northamptonshire Highways said: “We’ve been working hard to ensure repairs to Hardwater Bridge begin as soon as possible, as we know how important this route is for connecting rural residents in Northamptonshire.

“A special permit has been secured from the Environment Agency giving the green light for specialist repairs to start in November, three months ahead of schedule.

“Works consist of the complete replacement of the west parapet, significant structural repairs and enhanced safety barriers ensuring the bridge is fit for purpose.

“It’s expected repairs will take three weeks to complete.”    

The funds to pay for the bridge will come from an insurance claim.

The bridge is one of several out of action across the county which are causing traffic misery for drivers.

The Cottingham Road bridge in Corby has been closed for the past nine months as part of the Midland Main Line upgrade.

Shop owners in nearby Corby Old Village say it has been damaging business.

The bridge is set to partially re-open on October 19.