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Publication date:- 2017-24-03

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 5.

Dock bridges closure on 1 of the busiest routes in the Wirral

RESIDENTS are reminded that one of the busiest routes across the docks between Wallasey and Birkenhead closes next week as work on a multi-million pound investment in highways infrastructure gets underway.

The works involve 2 of the old '4 bridges' - the 'A' and 'C' bridges; along the A554 Tower Road being replaced completely and mean there will not be a through route along this road until the end of 2017.

As a result, the Council and its partners are urging those who use the route, either as drivers or on public transport, to familiarise themselves with the diversion routes or changes to scheduling which will be in place while the works take place.

Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:- "This is an exciting project and a significant investment in Wirral's transport infrastructure which will bring long-lasting benefits to the local area, residents and the economy. Of course we know that replacing the bridges will mean more disruption to the travelling public between March and December as the works take place and there will be no through route along Tower Road, but I believe that residents will show the patience that they always do in these circumstances and see the bigger, long term picture.  1 of our most important 2020 pledges is to have a local transport infrastructure that is fit for the future and this project is a major element in us delivering on that promise."

Cllr Whittingham added:- "The benefits of these new structures and the improvements it will bring to the road network will help us to grow and develop the local economy, particularly around the Twelve Quays area and the Wirral Waters project. Moreover, their replacement at this time essential. They have been requiring frequent and costly maintenance over recent years causing significant disruption to drivers, with the route regularly having to be closed, often with very little notice, for emergency or essential maintenance. The current bridges have many outdated features and if the rate of deterioration had been allowed to continue the route would very soon have become unsuitable for HGVs."

The works will involve the 'A' Bridge; the 1 that is covered by the machine house; being replaced with a new innovative rolling bascule lifting bridge, powered by hydraulic cylindrical rams. The 'C' Bridge, which is the 1 closest to the new Wirral Met College and Contact Company buildings, is being replaced with a modern flat deck fixed concrete slab.

The works are being funding largely due to a successful bid of more than £6 million for Department for Transport (DfT) Local Highway Maintenance Challenge funding.

Well marked diversion routes, via Dock Road, Duke Street and Cleveland Street, will be in operation when the full road closures are in place and access to and from the Stena Line ferry terminal will be maintained at all times. Drivers should expect additional traffic and delays during this time and plan their journeys accordingly.

The 145, 811, 409 and 423 bus services will follow the diversions put in place and some timetables will be amended. Both bus users and motorists should expect additional traffic and delays and are therefore advised to check before they travel, plan their journeys and leave extra time for journeys.

A temporary footbridge will be provided next to the 'C' Bridge during its replacement, so that pedestrians and cyclists can continue to use Tower Road. A temporary shuttle bus will be provided during the closure of the 'A' Bridge from late June 2017 until the bridge re-opens to pedestrians. Details of the shuttle bus operation will be provided in due course.

Cllr Whittingham added:- "Much planning has gone into this project over a considerable period of time and we believe we have identified the shortest possible duration to carry out the work to enable both bridges to be replaced quickly and in a safe and efficient way. We have been liaising closely with Merseytravel and with bus operators to ensure appropriate and sufficient public transport provision is maintained."

Details of all Wirral roadworks can be found online.  For help with journey planning on public transport, visit:- Merseytravel.Gov.UK or call:- 0151 236 7676.

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