Preparations are under way for the replacement of a Stockton bridge to help reduce the risk of flooding from Lustrum Beck.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council will remove the existing Londonderry Bridge on Durham Road and construct a new, single span structure.
The work is part of the Lustrum Beck flood alleviation scheme which will reduce the risk of flooding to over 150 homes. The scheme is being carried out in partnership with the Environment Agency, which is due to start building a new flood wall along the beck at Bedford Street at the end of May.
The Environment Agency will also start raising and extending the existing flood embankment in Newtown in the next couple of months. As part of this a new flood wall will also be constructed along Duddon Walk.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “Londonderry Bridge has been a major contributor to serious flooding because its arches obstruct the flow of Lustrum Beck so these works are absolutely essential to avoid a repeat of flooding on the scale we have seen in recent years.
“Unfortunately, there is no way of delivering a project of this nature without causing significant disruption but we will do everything we can to keep it to a minimum.”
Environment Agency Project Manager, Ted Thomas, added: “Work is due to start on the next stages of the Lustrum Beck scheme, which will all tie in with the previously completed flood wall at Bishopton Road, and recently replaced screen at Primrose Hill.
“This overall scheme will bring long-term sustainable benefits to the community by significantly reducing the risk of flooding to over 150 homes and businesses.
“We appreciate there will be some inconvenience to residents throughout the work and we’ll be doing all we can to keep disruption to a minimum.”
Durham Road which runs across Londonderry Bridge will close on 23 May for the duration of the works while the existing bridge is demolished and replaced, however businesses in the area will remain open.
A temporary footbridge is being positioned across Lustrum Beck and diversion routes for motorists will be clearly signed. The following bus diversions will also be in place:
• Arriva 15 – normal route Myrtle Road, Appleton Road then right turn on to Durham Road, A177, Norton Road, High Street
• Arriva 21a – normal route to Durham Road/A177 roundabout then A177, Norton Road, High Street
• Stagecoach 58 – normal route to Durham Road/A177 roundabout then A177, Norton Road, High Street
• Stagecoach 59 will be unaffected
It is expected that the new bridge will be ready to open this winter and the Bedford Street flood wall improvements will be complete in July 2016.
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has recently replaced the Primrose Hill screen behind Dundas Street. The new screen, which can be lifted out of the water during high flows to reduce the risk of flooding, will be fully operational next month.
Information about the Londonderry Bridge replacement works and the associated bus diversions are available on the Stockton-on-Tees Borough website www.stockton.gov.uk/londonderrybridge