By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Nottingham’s Clifton Bridge is expected to be restored to its original traffic layout by the end of November, Highways England has confirmed.
And motorists have been thanked for their patience as more than 18 months of roadworks are completed.
Parts of Nottingham were brought to a standstill in February last year when engineers found parts of the almost 50-year-old bridge had corroded.
The busy A52 Clifton Boulevard, which carries tens of thousands of vehicles every day, was then closed for vital works.
Engineers have been on-site since the corrosion was found, with traffic disruption causing queues and delays across the city.
Two lanes have since reopened on the bridge – with a reduced 30mph speed limit – though workers continue to provide strengthening works.
Highways England says the closure of lanes has opened the door to other maintenance work on the bridge, which it expects will prevent disruption in the future.
And the organisation’s head of service delivery has confirmed plans to reopen another lane by the end of September.
This will allow the re-opening of the slip road from Queen’s Drive and put engineers on track to reopen the carriageway in its original capacity two months later.
Adrian Oulds, Highways England’s head of service delivery, said: “Work is progressing well, and we’d like to thank motorists for their continued patience while we carry out these repairs.
“While the work we’re carrying out is complex, our ambition is to open an additional lane across the bridge around the end of September and to restore the bridge back to its original traffic layout around the end of November.
“As part of this stage of repairs, we’re putting a new strengthening system in place on the exterior of the structure, which will make it much easier to access for any future maintenance.
“While we have lanes closed, we’re also taking the opportunity to carry out other maintenance work which would have been needed at some point in the future.
“By doing this additional work now, it reduces the risk of water damaging the structure and allows our teams to work safely away from passing vehicles.”
Highways England describes the work as “extremely complex”. Once complete, engineers will have been on-site for almost 21 months.
It says that during this period engineers have drilled 9,000 holes, used 75 tonnes of steel reinforcement bars and 12,000 bags of concrete, fitted 2,000 metres of ducting and hung 90 tonnes of steel cable.
Once complete, the overall scheme will have cost around £20 million.