Engineers have revealed they are ahead of schedule on works to repair the Greyhound Bridge in Lancaster.
Lancashire County Council has released a bulletin on the project to keep residents informed on the works.
The update was issued in response to queries from the public over what is happening with the bridge.
Q. Why was a temporary or new bridge not installed instead of making traffic run in both directions on Skerton Bridge?
LCC. We had considered alternatives such as creating a temporary or new bridge while the Greyhound bridge is closed. During the development of the scheme this option was seriously considered but was discounted for a number of reasons such as location, ground conditions and cost. A new bridge was conservatively estimated at £16m. The recently opened Bay Gateway provides an alternative crossing to the north of the city, and the works were deferred for a number of years until the Bay Gateway was constructed.
Q. Are the works being carried out because the bridge was damaged by the flooding?
LCC. The bridge was not damaged during any of the recent flooding events. The reason the bridge needs maintenance is because major parts of it need renewing due to age and wear.
Q. How will Skerton Bridge cope with the extra traffic when it is two way?
LCC. Skerton Bridge previously had two lanes of traffic, and still has two lanes on traffic though they're now in different directions. The direction of the traffic does not affect the volume of traffic on the bridge at any one time.
Is the footway on the east side of Skerton Bridge being removed to widen the road?
No. The works on this footway during December 2017 and January 2018 was work being carried out by Electricity North West to install a new cable.
Q. When the work to Greyhound Bridge is complete will work need to be carried out on Skerton Bridge?
LCC. There are no maintenance works currently planned for Skerton Bridge. The bridge is in good condition and can cope with all the traffic it was designed to carry.
Q. Will you be working at night, and will the activities cause noise disruption?
LCC. Some work will take place at night to make good progress and reduce the time that the bridge is closed. The activities selected for night working will be quiet and will not require noisy plant machinery to be used.
Q. Why are there no cones or cylinders on the centre line of the new two way sections on Morecambe Road and Skerton Bridge to assist drivers?
LCC. These were in one of the early designs, but were taken out following consultation with the emergency services. The lack of cones means that, when required, vehicles can pull in to the side and allow emergency services down the centre of the road.
Q. On the north side of Skerton Bridge why are the traffic signals controlling the left turn from Owen Road to Morecambe Road linked to the traffic signals controlling the straight on up Owen Road?
LCC. After monitoring the situation for the first couple of days the traffic signals have now been changed so the traffic lights act independently and the left turn is only red when there is a pedestrian demand.
Q. Can HGVs make the right turn out of Morecambe Road onto Owen Road?
LCC. The turn has been modelled on the computer to ensure it was possible. We then added an extra 1m of space just to really make sure. The white lining has been specifically installed to push HGVs over to the left of the carriageway in advance making the right turn to ensure their starting position is good.
Q. Why is there only one left turn lane at the Bulk Road/Parliament Street junction?
LCC. As with all the junction alterations a number of options were looked at during the design. The current configuration of having a single left turn lane on continuous green except when there is pedestrian demand maximizes the overall capacity of the road.
Q. Has the army contacted Lancashire County Council with the offer of installing a temporary bridge?
Q. Are the railway lines still there beneath the surfacing?
LCC. Before the Greyhound Bridge became a road bridge it carried trains. However the old railway lines are not hidden beneath the surface. The concrete deck installed in 1972 sits on top of the steel beams about 1m above the old level of the railway. The steel deck that the railway lines sat on is still there forming a void beneath the concrete deck. The steel deck forms a handy, if a little cramped, working platform.