Danger junction at Wimblington will close for five months while a bridge is given a £1m overhaul

PUBLISHED: 11:47 10 December 2018

Images show some of the accidents at Boots Bridge that have prompted a major £1m replacement bridge and improvement scheme. There are fears over access to Manea during the 22 weeks the bridge will close. 
Piicture: ARCHANT

Images show some of the accidents at Boots Bridge that have prompted a major £1m replacement bridge and improvement scheme. There are fears over access to Manea during the 22 weeks the bridge will close. Piicture: ARCHANT

Archant

A bridge where there have been so many accidents, a resident says emergency call handlers know her by name, is closing while it is given a £1m overhaul.

The project to reconstruct Boots Bridge on Manea Road, Wimblington, which is nearly 90 years old, begins on Monday January 7.

Work at the junction is expected to last for five months.

Motorists will be diverted via New Road, Chatteris and the Stagecoach number 56 bus will still run.

Councillor Mathew Shuter, Cambridgeshire County Council’s chair of the highways and community infrastructure committee, said: “We need to carry out this work because the original concrete bridge is deteriorating and based on the history of previous incidents at this location we’re improving the safety at this location.

“It is highly technical work involving integral parts of a bridge structure which is why the work will take almost five months so we thank local residents and businesses for their patience during this project.”

The current concrete bridge deck, which is the top surface of the bridge, was first built in 1931 and now needs upgrading because it is deteriorating.

The bridge work will begin after UK Power Networks have diverted power cables.

It is proposed to demolish the existing bridge deck and reuse the supporting abutments, before a new bridge surface is built.

The new design will improve safety at the junction with Sixteen Foot Bank.

A protective wall along the edge of a bridge will combine steel posts and safety barriers to improve visibility.

There will be additional work at the junction with Sixteen Foot Bank including improving signage, white lines and cutting down vegetation.

A new high friction grip surfacing will be completed at the same time.

Local resident Christine Baxter has kept a log to help councillors campaigning for safety improvements.

She said: “I make so many calls about crashes at the junction that the woman who answers the police phone line knows me by name.”

• The B1093 between Manea and Wimblington will be closed while the work is being carried out and a diversion via New Road, Chatteris will be in place. The Stagecoach 56 service will continue to run via Upwell Road, March to and from Manea.

• The Sixteen Foot drain will also be closed for navigation until the new bridge deck is in place.

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