By Gary Smee 08/08 Updated: 16/08 15:10
MOTORISTS are being warned removing barriers on Eckington Bridge while work is being carried out could cause a serious accident.
The 18th century bridge is currently being resurfaced and waterproofed and is closed to all traffic but there are fears drivers may think it is okay to still use it when the workmen have gone home.
It was hoped the barriers would be removed at the start of next week, but it is now likely to remain closed until next Friday (August 17) because of problems found in previous concrete repairs carried out more than 80 years ago.
Worcestershire County Council chiefs said workmen needed to repair this concrete before any waterproofing work and so the delay was unavoidable.
During the closure, which was arranged to coincide with the school summer holidays, public transport timetables designed for flooding have been employed, but pedestrians have still been able to use it.
Jon Fraser, customer and community manager at Worcestershire County Council, said he was sorry for the inconvenience caused but said they were left with little choice but to close it.
"The County Council has an obligation to ensure the bridge is kept in good order and remain serviceable for the community to use," he added.
"It is essential these repairs are undertaken to ensure this can continue and we apologise for any inconvenience experienced during the works."
The Grade II listed bridge was built in 1728 and it is hoped the work will ensure the protection and preservation of the historical fabric of the structure.
Eckington county councillor, Adrian Hardman, said the team were working as quickly as possible to minimise disruption.
"While I am aware of the disruption that work such as this can cause, and apologise we have had to extend the closure period by five days; the work on this historic bridge really needs to be done," he said.
"I am delighted that we have been able to find the funding to maintain its life for years to come and have worked to ensure we have the backing of Eckington Parish Council.
"I am sure the team will get the job done as quickly as possible to minimise disruption and would like to thank local residents for their patience whilst this important work is carried out."
For more information on the project and the changes to the bus timetables, visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk.
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