Main Preston road to close repeatedly and get temporary traffic lights for a year while bridge is widened

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A main road on the outskirts of Preston is likely to be shut – on and off – for around four months as part of work to widen a bridge.

Lancashire County Council is planning to redesign the narrow crossing – on the B6243, Preston Road, in Grimsargh – so that it no longer acts as a bottleneck for traffic.

As the Lncashire Post revealed last month, the works will take a year to complete, but highways bosses have now published further details about what the changes to the Skew Bridge, as it is known, will entail.

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The bridge on Preston Road in Grimsargh will close for 16 weeks or more (main image: Ed Walker)The bridge on Preston Road in Grimsargh will close for 16 weeks or more (main image: Ed Walker)
The bridge on Preston Road in Grimsargh will close for 16 weeks or more (main image: Ed Walker)

The project is pencilled in to start on 22nd July this year and run until 29th August, 2025. During that time, the bridge will be subject to closure for four months – or possibly longer.

However, County Hall has told the Post that the closure periods are expected to be intermittent, rather than one long shut down.

At all other times, the route will remain open, but temporary traffic lights will be in operation for the entire duration of the works.

The county council has not so far published a suggested diversion route for use while the busy road is shut, but the nature of the highway network in the area means it is likely to be a lengthy one.

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A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We are currently considering options for the design and construction of the scheme to widen the bridge and will be looking at ways to minimise the impact on people’s journeys by limiting the number and duration of discrete closures within the four-month period.

“We’ll be publicising the closures in advance to help people plan their journeys.”

Once complete, the bridge – which is to be widened by just under 2.5 metres – will comfortably be able to carry two-way traffic.

Currently, it is only just possible for two average-sized cars to pass side-by-side in opposite directions. When larger vehicles are crossing the bridge, oncoming traffic has to stop and wait.

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The ramped access to the structure also means drivers often cannot see opposing vehicles until the last minute and so have to slow right down on the approach.

A public consultation into the plans is thought to be imminent, having originally been timetabled to begin late last month.

The work is to be funded as part of the Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council Bus Service Improvement Plan, under which the two authorities have been handed £34.1m from the government for projects designed to benefit bus passengers.

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