THE road which was closed causing rat runs in surrounding villages will reopen.
The A429 near Hullavington in Wiltshire will reopen ahead of time at 8pm tonight (Friday, March 11), following round-the-clock work by Network Rail to carry out urgent structural repairs to Malmesbury Road rail bridge.
The work on this important bridge – which carries passenger and freight services between Bristol and London – began on Thursday, February 10 and was expected to end on Monday 14 March.
However, the work has been completed and the road will reopen two days ahead of time, later today.
Network Rail worked closely with Wiltshire Council to identify the least disruptive approach to complete these works.
It was however deemed necessary the road would need to be closed from 10 February to enable Network Rail to install scaffolding across the entire span of the bridge and ensure the safety of both road users and construction staff during the repairs.
Michael Clapham, Network Rail scheme project manager, said: “During initial repairs on the Malmesbury Road railway bridge last autumn, it was discovered that further work would be required to the structural brickwork and steel reinforcements to ensure that the bridge can continue to operate safely.
“These extensive repairs mean that we had to erect scaffolding across the A429 and close the road to allow us to gain access to the bridge.
“We worked with Wiltshire Council to provide a diversionary route while our teams worked both day and night to make sure we could complete the work as soon as was safely possible.
“We understand how inconvenient diversions can be and we’d like to thank the local community and road users for their patience while we have carried out these urgent repairs which will help ensure that the bridge continues to operate safely for many years to come.”
Councillor Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We’d like to thank Network Rail for working around the clock to complete this work safely and get the A429 open ahead of time.
“We know that this closure has been particularly difficult for some communities in Wiltshire, and we really appreciate their patience during these essential works.”