WORKS has finally started on repair work to a Marsden bridge.
And the news has been welcomed by local councillors and residents.
The road over Ottiwells Bridge has been subjected to traffic delays for the past three years.
Ottiwells Bridge – which carries Mount Road over Wessenden Brook in Marsden – has been requiring strengthening works for the past four years.
It was one of a number of Huddersfield bridges identified in safety checks by Kirklees Council.
An assessment of the bridge revealed that it no longer had sufficient strength to carry the 40 tonne loads required by national standards.
This resulted in a temporary one-way bridge being installed in 2006 to allow the continued flow of traffic over the brook.
Local councillors say this has caused delays and inconvenience for residents and local businesses ever since and that the investment should have been made much sooner.
They claimed the route is often used to divert traffic from the M62 motorway and the A62 Manchester Road.
Kirklees Cabinet finally approved the £350,000 of funding needed to strengthen the bridge at a meeting at the end of April.
The work will now take place over a 16-week period.
It will bring the bridge up to the required 40 tonne loading requirement. The temporary bridge will remain in operation throughout the duration of the works, after which it will be removed and the highway returned to two-way traffic.
Local Lib Dem councillors have welcomed the long awaited investment but have criticised the length of time it has taken to get the funding approved.
Clr Nicola Turner said: “We are naturally very pleased that the £350,000 needed to sort out the bridge is finally being spent in the Colne Valley.
“But we are not pleased with the amount of time it has taken to get to this stage. Local people and businesses have been inconvenienced for a long time now.
“The Conservative Group didn’t want to spend the money in the Colne Valley. It’s as simple as that.”
Clr David Ridgway added: “Mount Road is often used as diversionary route for traffic when there is an emergency on the M62 or on Manchester Road.
“For that reason alone it should have been dealt with sooner. Three options were set out by officers but we were only in support of a full programme of strengthening works taking place.
“People have waited long enough without the council cutting corners.”