Motorists using a remote Ribble Valley road face a potential 25-mile diversion due to essential work on a historic bridge.
Work is due to start on Monday (August 15th) to strengthen Croasdale Bridge on the remote C519 road to the north of Slaidburn. Major structural repairs are needed to strengthen the bridge, originally constructed in 1765, so that it will survive for another century.
The work is due to go oun until Thursday September 1st, with engineers working around the clock to keep disruption to a minimum.
The bridge carries the remote C519 road, known as The Skaithe, over Croasdale Brook and on into Slaidburn following its long passage over Tatham Fells. The Skaithe then continues on to link Slaidburn with Bentham.
Close monitoring of the bridge has been going on for a number of years after inspections detected signs of movement on its west side. Now the time has come for much-needed strengthening work which will save the bridge from deteriorating and make it last for another generation.
Bridge engineer David Griffiths said: “We’ve already been working closely with residents in the area on these bridge works and programmed them according to the feedback we received so the closure is as short as possible.
“Unfortunately there’s no alternative as major structural repairs are needed, but we’re going to considerable effort to keep disruption to a minimum – we will have teams working split shifts to keep the job going 24 hours-a-day so we can get the job done as quickly as possible.
“When the work is completed we hope it will mean the bridge will last for another lifetime without a significant closure.”
A temporary footbridge will be installed for the duration of the closure which can be used by cyclists and pedestrians.
A detailed risk assessment has been carried out with the ambulance service, resulting in a recommendation to carry out the work during the summer months when hours of daylight are longer and the Air Ambulance has greater availability.
The diversion route (north to south) is 25 miles: C519 The Skaithe, Mewith Lane, Keasden Road, C592 Coat Rakes/School Lane/Hole House Lane, B6478 Wigglesworth Road.
Signs will also be put up warning motorists not to park in passing places on the diversion route as it is essential traffic is kept moving.