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Sutton Bridge: Our readers ask why must Cross Keys Bridge roadworks take a month?




County highways bosses are defending their plan to spend a month resurfacing the only road 'gateway' between Lincolnshire and Norfolk.

Cross Keys Bridge at Sutton Bridge will have two-way working on a single lane for two days in the first week of September.

More of the same follows - but for four weeks - from September 23.

The county council says the bridge was last resurfaced in 2007
The county council says the bridge was last resurfaced in 2007

Readers have contacted us saying the plan will spark "chaos" and describing it as "a disaster".

Lincolnshire County Council's assistant director of highways, Karen Cassar, also admits "there will be significant disruption and severe delays" - and is advising drivers to use the 32-mile long diversion route via Wisbech.

Readers have asked why the resurfacing will take so long and a county council spokesman explained the surface is worn due to high volumes of HGVs.

The bridge dates back to 1897 and takes road traffic across the Nene
The bridge dates back to 1897 and takes road traffic across the Nene

The spokesman said: "The last time we resurfaced the bridge was in 2007. In the previous scheme we overlaid the existing surfacing - unfortunately this did not give us the longevity of the surfacing system.

"This time we will be removing the existing surfacing back to the steel deck plates and relaying with fresh material.

"The (new) surfacing is a specialist, lightweight combined waterproofing and surfacing system typically used on moving bridges so it is not a conventional bituminous material like the majority of the highway network.

"The intention is to work 24 hours - or at least have two consecutive shifts - and our contractors are on board with that."

The plan is for two-way working on a single lane but pedestrians will retain full access
The plan is for two-way working on a single lane but pedestrians will retain full access

The council says its proposed traffic light management was requested by residents, businesses and bus operators.

* Sutton Bridge farmer Michael Booth lives in the village but also farms on the Norfolk side of Cross Keys Bridge.

Speaking to our sister paper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, Mr Booth said farm vehicles are too big and slow to tackle a diversion via Wisbech - so the Norfolk land must be harvested before the bridge works start.

It's the only road gateway between Lincolnshire and Norfolk
It's the only road gateway between Lincolnshire and Norfolk

One reader told us: “I am passing over that bridge every day - twice a day. I have to bring my child to school and go to work myself so if the road, and the bridge, will close I have no idea what I am supposed to do.

“The diversion will be through Wisbech and villages where there are loads of tractors so all traffic will be stuck.”

Another reader said: “I can’t imagine the chaos this is going to cause.

“I live in Holbeach but go to King’s Lynn regularly and this is going to make it impossible without a major detour. Even that will be a nightmare as Wisbech will be gridlocked as a result of this.

“They really need to do something about the infrastructure of roads in Lincolnshire and Norfolk as it’s not fit for purpose with the amount of traffic using it. One small stretch of repairs like this causes absolute carnage.”

Previously ...

Sutton Bridge A17: Highways warn of "significant disruption and severe delays"

Will it be chaos at Sutton Bridge swing-bridge with roadworks for nearly six weeks?


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