ENGINEERS at Lancashire County Council have reopened a Slaidburn bridge four days ahead of schedule to minimise disruption for villagers.
They have been working around the clock since Monday, August 15th, to make major structural repairs to the Old Bridge to the north of the village.
As the bridge was closed a 25-mile diversion had been needed for traffic using the remote C519 road, known as the Skaithe, causing disruption for local traffic and a nearby business.
But now the main part of the much-needed structural work is complete, which means the road can reopen while minor works are finished off.
Principal bridge engineer David Leung said: “We’re very pleased to have the main part of the job finished ahead of schedule and re-open the road to traffic.
“We know the closure has caused some disruption and we’re very grateful to local people for their support and cooperation.
“We found out more about the condition of the bridge as the job went on and the new concrete fill really was needed. The old material wasn’t in good condition and this intervention was very timely to prevent any further deterioration.”
Forward planning by the county council meant the opportunity was taken to install a crossing for United Utilities’ water supply, preventing a further closure in future.
It is expected the work done will last many years, saving the historic structure which dates from 1765 for another generation.
A boost was also given to local business with local contractors Marchbridge Engineering and Kirks Scaffolding working alongside the county council to complete the repairs.
The bridge was reopened to traffic on Sunday, August 29th. It was originally scheduled to be closed until Thursday, September 1st.