Motorists facing three months of disruption when St Peter's Bridge closes in Burton have aired their fears as night closures pave the way for next week’s launch of the £6.1 million scheme.
Drivers who use the town's roads daily were left outraged when news of the three month closure of St Peter’s Bridge broke earlier this month.
Staffordshire County Council then outlined plans to close a number of the town’s roads overnight this week in preparation for the bridge works.
Council bosses said the aim of the night closures, which began yesterday (Monday, August 21) is to make sure diversion routes in Burton town centre are in the "best condition possible" for when St Peter’s Bridge closes on August 29, as part of a multi-million pound repair project.
The news has prompted a mixed reaction from Burton Mail readers who took to social media to vent their frustration and have their say on the issue.
Richard Elder said: "So as soon as St Peter’s Bridge is re-opened they will close Burton Bridge to repair that? Why don’t they just close both bridges at the same time and get all the work over and done with?"
Alison Brown asked: "Why don’t they go the whole hog and make all of Burton pedestrianised because it is only those that walk that will be able to get around."
Helen McIvor wrote: "It is good to know they can resurface roads at speed due to a bridge closure, instead of ignoring them like they do the rest of the year."
Alex Lee said work also needed to be done to repair a sink hole near Derby Turn or "the A38 towards Derby will be a no go" when the bridge closes. Shaun Hall also added: "They need to sort that hole on Derby Road before they start directing traffic through Horninglow."
Andrew Walters said: "Why do people moan about the potholes and then moan about the road closures? At least the council is getting them done."
The highways team has announced that resurfacing work will take place over six consecutive nights at the junction of Stapenhill Road and Ashby Road junction, the Shobnall Road/Wellington Road Island, Wellington Street/Borough Road, Horninglow Street and the junction of Horninglow Street and Guild Street.
During the closure of St. Peter’s bridge traffic will be diverted over Burton Bridge in both directions.
The £6.1m project by Staffordshire County Council will allow vital strengthening work on St Peter’s Bridge to allow HGVs to continue to access the town, along with waterproofing and resurfacing. The St Peter’s Bridge repairs will be completed by the end of November. This will be followed by improvements to Burton Bridge in the New Year.
Staffordshire County Council’s transport leader Coun Mark Deaville told the Burton Mail: "The St Peter’s Bridge repair scheme is vital for the future prosperity of Burton and will strengthen and protect the route for the long-term.
"This is a major project and will mean the bridge will be free of unplanned and disruptive maintenance work in the future, and help support local businesses and economic growth.
"We are making every effort to minimise disruption and next week we will be carrying out repairs to roads along the diversion route – ensuring they are in the best condition possible to take on the additional traffic.
"This work will be carried out overnight. Once again I would ask people to bear with us as the work is carried out and thank them in advance for their co-operation and patience."
MP Andrew Griffiths, who lobbied Government for the funding, said: "It will be great to see the work get underway in just days and, while some inconvenience is inevitable, it is important that we all remember the long-term benefits this investment will bring."
In January repair work will begin on Burton Bridge. This will include strengthening, resurfacing and upgrading gullies to help prevent surface water flooding. During the Burton bridge works, the bridge will be closed to all traffic which will be diverted via St. Peter’s Bridge.
Traffic management will take place in the listed areas from 7.30pm onwards and are expected to finish at around 6am the following mornings.
For vehicles travelling east, the diversion route will be via A5189 Orchard Street, Evershed Way, Shobnall Road, A5121 Wellington Street, Waterloo Street, Byrkley Street, Derby Street, A511 Horninglow Street, Wetmore Road, Bridge Street (Burton Bridge) and A444 Stapenhill Road.
For vehicles travelling west the diversion route will be via A444 Stapenhill Road, A511 Bridge Street (Burton Bridge), Horninglow Street, A5121 Derby Street, Borough Road, Wellington Street, A5189 Shobnall Road, Evershed Way and Orchard Street.