Residents face months of road disruption over Grantham railway bridge repairs
Residents in Grantham are facing months of upheaval and disruption when major work gets under way on two railway bridges in the town.
The bridge in Barrowby Road will be closed 24 hours a day from next month until December 4, as part of a £2.7 million project by Network Rail to improve strength.
Similar work will commence on the railway bridge in Springfield Road Bridge in January 2021, which is expected to be closed until the project is completed in March 2021.
The work will be carried out on one bridge at a time to “reduce the amount of disruption to people and businesses in Grantham”.
Barrowby Road bridge will be closed from 6am on Tuesday, September 1, until Friday, December 4 with motorists being diverted onto other routes.
Access will remain available for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridges carry the busy East Coast Main Line over Barrowby Road and Springfield Road.
Both will have strengthening work carried out to make sure both the road and railway remain safe and reliable for many years to come.
Network Rail engineers will also carry out repairs to the steel and brickwork, rewaterproofing the bridges and re-painting sections of them.
Once Barrowby Road reopens on Friday, December 4, both roads will remain open over the Christmas period until work begins on the bridge at Springfield Road in January.
Springfield Road will then remain closed until the project is completed in March 2021.
Both roads need to close for one weekend, on Saturday, 28 and Sunday, November 29, 2020, as work takes place to improve the drainage on both bridges.
This part of the project will also impact on train services, as the line will be closed to allow the work to take place safely and passengers are advised to check their journeys in advance via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said he is aware of the disruption the closures will bring but stressed that the work is needed.
He said: “This work to strengthen the two railway bridges is vital for the railway and the community of Grantham that the line runs through.
“We have planned the work carefully to phase it so that we keep disruption to a minimum for people in the town.
“We would like to thank people in advance for their patience whilst the work is carried out and apologise for any inconvenience.”
Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, agreed that it will cause disruption but added that the work is vital to secure safety.
He added: “When utility companies and other organisations approach us to do work on the roads, our programming team work with them to find the least disruptive way to do it.
“In this case, we asked Network Rail to only close one road at a time, and to pause work and have both roads open during the busy Christmas period.
“There’s no doubt Network Rail’s works will cause disruption in Grantham, but it’s obviously maintenance that needs doing on these bridges to secure the safety of the train line and the roads below.”
The news is likely to cause significant concerns for the business community in Grantham, particularly at a time when town centre reatilers are trying to pick up the pieces following the Covid-19 lockdown.
These were echoed by chairman of Grantham Business Club Malcolm Swinburn.
He told the Journal: “In a couple of words, disaster and frustration.
“The traffic flow through Grantham is not the greatest at the best of times so these closures will certainly add to the existing problems.
“There are two main areas of regular traffic back up and they are at these two bridges. Closing either one or both will, in my opinion, add to this problem and in particular to the ongoing traffic problems caused at the Springfield Road and Bridge End Road junctions.
Once Barrowby Road is closed the majority of traffic, I believe, will be pushed over to a Trent Road, down Springfield Road and then back into the town centre.
“There will be major delays as the one-way traffic flow under the bridge on Springfield Road will just not cope well.
“Consideration should be given to stop right turning into McDonald’s which could help ease the problem.
“We shall see just how much adverse effect both closures will have on our town centre businesses as it could well deter people from fighting their way into town stuck in traffic jams.
“Just as we are coming to terms with the Covid-19 lockdown this will not help our local residents at all. Bad timing.
“As they are spending such a large amount of money perhaps consideration to widen the road at the Springfield bridge could have been made.”
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