Traffic is beginning to return to normal after Greyhound Bridge reopened at the weekend following a major repair scheme.
A £4m refurbishment project began in January to make sure the bridge retains the strength to carry big HGVs.
The temporary traffic system which has been in place while the Greyhound Bridge is closed, with vehicles running in both directions on Skerton Bridge, has now been removed.
However, there are some minor changes for drivers to get used to, as Greyhound Bridge will now feature a new bus-only lane to make bus journeys quicker and more reliable.
And, while it won’t affect traffic, there will be some further work next summer to finish repainting the Greyhound Bridge.
The new northbound bus-only lane will run from the bus stop on Cable Street south of the river and across Greyhound Bridge, before merging with general traffic again north of the river on Morecambe Road. Enforcement cameras will be introduced at a later date.
It will be introduced using an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, which will allow the county council to see how well it works in live operation for up to 18 months, while carrying out public consultation about its impact.
In due course, the county council will assess the feedback received and decide whether the bus lane should be made permanent.
Work is due to resume in May 2019 to finish painting the bridge. The bridge will be kept fully open while this takes place, with only some short-term off-peak lane closures being needed to allow equipment and materials to be delivered.
The original plan was to paint the bridge during the same window as the rest of the refurbishment, but the work to restore reinforced concrete sections uncovered much worse damage than previous investigations had shown, meaning extra work was needed, and delaying the painting.
Painting the bridge during late winter is not ideal, and a decision has therefore been taken to complete the painting works in May 2019.
The temporary pedestrian crossing that was installed as a safety measure at the start of the works outside Our Lady’s Catholic College on Morecambe Road will now remain in place as a permanent feature.
Work is also planned to resurface Cable Street from Water Street and Greyhound Bridge Road.