A £500,000 bridge maintenance project along the A66 between Cockermouth and Workington in Cumbria has started today, maintaining this important east-west route for drivers in the north of England.
During the work Highways England will be using temporary bridging plates to allow both the eastbound and westbound lanes to remain open during the day to help minimise disruption to drivers’ journeys during the vital repairs project.
The 9 week project will replace the expansion joint on the bridge which carries a single carriageway section of the A66 over the River Marron near Bridgefoot. The work is set to be completed by Sunday 12 March.
Expansion joints are mechanisms used to help bridge decks expand and contract safely during changes in the weather. The bridging plates will be used to cover the gap running across the carriageway after the existing expansion joint is removed.
Highways England project manager Mark Mosley, said:
This is routine wear and tear replacement work but it needs to be done and we’re doing all we can to minimise any disruption to drivers’ journeys by restricting the work, and most of the traffic management arrangements, to overnight periods.
Laying these plates over the trough created by removing the old expansion joint will allow us to keep the bridge fully open during the day to help keep drivers on the move.
Most of the work will be done overnight between 10pm and 6am during the week and between 10pm and 8am at weekends. Overnight traffic management will include the use of temporary traffic lights or full carriageway closures.
Before any carriageway closures take place Highways England will resurface sections of the parallel county council road between Brigham and Bridgefoot to provide safe and smooth journeys along the diversion route. The resurfacing work is starting this week.
Although the bridging plates will allow both the eastbound and westbound lanes to operate during the day, there will be occasions when temporary traffic lights will be deployed outside the overnight working periods. A temporary 30 mph speed limit, supported by speed cameras, will be in place throughout the scheme.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.