Hawthorn Road will be closed next month as part of the £120 million Lincoln Eastern Bypass project.
Lincolnshire County Council is now ready to start building the bypass’ new Hawthorn Road junction.
As part of this, the road will be closed at its junction with St Augustine Road from Monday, December 2 until the bypass officially opens next year, which at the time of writing is due to be in May 2020.
When the road is closed, the diversion route will be via Bunkers Hill/A158/Kennel Lane, and vice versa. Access will be maintained for pedestrians, cyclists and others not in motorised vehicles during the road closure starting in December, and from the west when the bypass opens.
Once re-opened, a new road layout will be in place giving road users access to Hawthorn Road east from the new bypass, but with a permanent closure of Hawthorn Road from the west for drivers.
The new steel footbridge which has been craned in at the site, manufactured by NuSteel in Kent, took four months to create and assemble. When in place, it will stand 6.5 metres above Hawthorn Road at its highest point.
The bridge will link the two sides of Hawthorn Road, which will not allow car traffic over the bridge on the western side of the bypass. On the east side, a junction will allow vehicle access to and from the bypass.
Karen Cassar, Assistant Director – Highways, said: “The team has been working hard over the past month to prepare the ground, complete the bridge’s abutments and weld its two halves together.
“Now that the footbridge is in place, the team will complete the approach embankments and carry out surfacing works over the next three weeks, ahead of the bridge opening up to pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and other people not in motorised vehicles.
“The bridge’s design is future-proofed, meaning it has been built to span 50 metres. This will allow it to cross over a dualled bypass in the future, which is still something we intend to push for as and when funding becomes available.”
Lincolnshire County Council approved plans for a new design for the cycle and foot bridge over the Lincoln Eastern Bypass in October 2014. The original plans were rejected by the Department for Transport following a public enquiry.
Galliford Try have been overseeing the construction of the footbridge, which has gathered pace in the last six months.
Construction was started on the stairs of the footbridge in June this year. The superstructure was delivered and assembled for the new footbridge in October, before it was recently lifted into place this month.
The Lincoln Eastern Bypass project, which is a 7.5km single carriageway road, is part-funded by a £50 million Central Government capital grant. It will connect the A15 Sleaford Road with the A158 Wragby Road.
The overall project will be completed in May 2020 instead of the original planned date of December 2019, and it will also be over budget, costing £120 million instead of £99 million.
Councillor Richard Davies, cabinet member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, recently said he was “reasonably confident” that the project would be completed on time.