Improvement work

Cambridgeshire County Council is about to carry out maintenance work to protect the Earith Bridge on the A1123 and is investigating further improvements which could reduce flooding on the roadway.

Jointing on the 1960s concrete deck needs work to stop water getting into the structure of the bridge and the road surface will also be coated with a waterproof membrane and measures introduced to stop moisture damaging the steel reinforcing in the bridge.

Discussions are also continuing with the Environment Agency to explore ways to resurface and raise ‘low points’ on the roadway which are most prone to flooding – this will however not prevent the bridge from flooding as it is designed to do on those occasions when higher water flows occur.

County Council Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, Councillor Tony Orgee, said: “This important maintenance work will help keep the bridge in good condition and stop it from suffering damage as a result of the very wet conditions in the area.

“We are also working with the Environment Agency to explore how some areas of the road surface can be raised to avoid the problems caused by low level flooding incidents while still allowing the flood plain to operate as it should when more serious flooding occurs.”

The initial £350,000 project to protect the joints and bridge structure will start on March 1 and is expected to take around six weeks to complete. The bulk of the work will be carried out at weekends under a bridge closure with off-peak working controlled by traffic lights during weekdays.

The work is essential but will cause some disruption and drivers are being urged to allow extra time for their midweek journeys or to follow the diversion routes which will be clearly signposted.

The ongoing discussions with the EA are designed to identify ways areas of the road could be raised slightly and subject to those discussions being concluded, any agreed work would be carried out at the same time as the bridge maintenance work.