A section of Lincoln High Street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians as a year of work to build a pedestrian footbridge over the level crossing gets underway.
As previously reported, the disruptive phase of the works will begin on March 9. As a result, the footpath on the west of Lincoln High Street and the road northbound between St Mark Street and Wigford Way will be fenced off for the duration of the works.
Over the past two months, Network Rail has been making internal preparations for the new footbridge from within the former Sleep Shop at 179 High Street.
Works have also seen the removal of trees outside the British Heart Foundation in order to erect hoardings. A lift will be also be provided at each side of the bridge, capable of carrying mobility scooters and pushchairs.
In the next phase of work, the shop will be demolished to create the bridge. Long term changes to the road layout will then be required.
Project partners Lincolnshire County Council say the closure is necessary due to the “extremely high level of pedestrian use” in the area.
Traffic will be diverted along St Mark Street onto Brayford Wharf East and back onto Wigford Way. Motorists wishing to travel southbound onto High Street will turn left from St Mary’s Street and traffic from Wigford Way will be diverted around the island car park (formerly the Grand Hotel) to also turn left into High Street.
By preventing right turns into High Street and stopping the northbound flow, the number of “signal phases” will be reduced, minimising the time between green lights.
Significant changes need to be made to traffic signals and road markings as well as the temporary re-configuration of the junctions on Wigford Way and on St Mark Street.
The section of the High Street will be closed to all traffic from around 8pm on Saturday, March 7 to 6am on Monday, March 9 to enable the county council to carry out traffic signal changes.
The council said the servicing of and deliveries arrangements to business premises will be maintained throughout the works.
Although the scheme will continue until the end of February 2016, Lincolnshire County Council expect stepped access to the bridge to be opened in December 2015.
On completion of the East West Link road in 2016, the section of the High Street between Tentercroft Street and St Mary’s Street will be closed to traffic, except for service vehicles during off-peak times.
After unmapped utilities were discovered at the site of the Brayford footbridge, work has been delayed by more than a year. Network Rail have not confirmed dates on the Brayford Wharf level crossing but work is due to start this summer.