URGENT repairs to bridges across Kirklees will go ahead – thanks to a cash boost.
Government officials have agreed to foot a £15m repair bill for work that has to be done in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
The £15million scheme to repair nine bridges and 3.5km of retaining walls on the road network in Kirklees was approved by Transport Minister Rosie Winterton.
The essential maintenance work will improve the condition of important access roads in the Kirklees area and prevent the possibility of significant delays in local journey times in the future.
It will also enable existing weight restrictions and associated temporary traffic light working to be lifted once the works are complete and remove the threat of future bridge closures and diversion routes.
Several bridges in Kirklees have had to have weight restrictions imposed with the advent of huge new articulated lorries – often from Europe.
Rosie Winterton said: “These £15m improvements will bring long-term benefits for those travelling on the road network in and around Kirklees.
“They will reduce congestion and make it much easier to travel, helping to bring significant long term benefits to the local economy and environment.”
The scheme proposed involves the strengthening of nine bridges and 3.5 km of retaining walls. Several of the bridges involved already have weight restrictions imposed.
Clr Martyn Bolt, Kirklees Cabinet member for Highways, praised Kirklees Highways on the work to prepare the bid.
He said: “I congratulate Kirklees Highways officers for their hard work and professional submission which has resulted in this additional £15m of Government money.
“This is great news and means that we will be able to repair and protect these important bridges and keep our main arterial road network in a much healthier state for the future.
“The work will mean that current temporary traffic lights will eventually be removed from bridges where there are weight restrictions.”
The structures to be improved are at key locations often on main routes linking industrial and regeneration areas.
Bridges that will undergo maintenance works are: Calder River Bridge, Cooper Bridge, Headfield Road Bridge, Ravensthorpe Road Bridge, Cleggford Bridge, Union Bridge, King’s Bridge, Saville Bridge and Soothill Lane Bridge.
The Cleggford Bridge in Thornhill will require planning permission and listed building consent from English Heritage.
The funding announcement will allow work to start shortly on the other eight bridges and all retaining walls in the scheme.
The council will then be able to apply for the funding for the Cleggford Bridge when it has received the necessary consents for the maintenance work it wishes to undertake.