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Reconstruction work to start on Boots Bridge in Manea in January

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Work to reconstruct Boots Bridge on Manea Road, Wimblington will begin early in the New Year and will take almost five months to complete.

Boots Bridge is set to be reconstructed early in the New Year. (5885609)
Boots Bridge is set to be reconstructed early in the New Year. (5885609)

But fears Manea villagers would be left without a bus service during the work have been allayed with news the Stage coach 56 bus will continue to run via an alternative route.

Earlier in the summer the bus service was suspended for nearly 10 days while resurfacing of Wimblington Road was carried out, leaving villagers without transport relying on neighbours and some parish councillors to help them get to March,

There were fears the bus service would be suspended during the bridge works but it has now been revealed it will continue to run via Upwell Road instead of Wimblington Road.

The current concrete bridge deck, which is the top surface of the bridge, was first built in 1931 and now needs upgrading because it is deteriorating.

The bridge work due to start on Monday January 7 will be after UK Power Networks have diverted power cables.

It is proposed to demolish the existing bridge deck and re-use the abutments, which support the bridge, before the new bridge surface is built.

The new bridge has been designed to improve safety at this road junction with Sixteen Foot Bank, which has seen dozens of accidents including six in two months during the summer. The new parapets, which is a protective wall along the edge of a bridge, will see steel posts and safety barriers installed to improve visibility.

To keep disruption to a minimum, additional work at the junction with Sixteen Foot Bank including improving signage, white lines and cutting down vegetation. In addition, a new high friction grip surfacing will be completed at the same time.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s chairman of highways and community infrastructure committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “We need to carry out this work because the original concrete bridge is deteriorating and based on the history of previous incidents at this location we’re improving the safety at this location.

“It is highly technical work involving integral parts of a bridge structure which is why the work will take almost five months so we thank local residents and businesses for their patience during this project.”

The B1093 between Manea and Wimblington will be closed while the work is being carried out and a diversion via New Road, Chatteris will be in place. The Stagecoach 56 service will continue to run via Upwell Road, March to and from Manea.

The Sixteen Foot drain will also be closed for navigation until the new bridge deck is in place.

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