Tue, 31 Jan 2017
AFTER 12 months of disruption, Boundary Road bridge is back in use.
The bridge has been closed since January 2016 to allow Network Rail to heighten it ahead of electrification.
Network Rail regional director of infrastructure projects, Robbie Burns, thanked residents of Boundary Road and Railway Road - many of whom were in attendance - for their patience throughout the works.
Newbury MP Richard Benyon then cut the ribbon to declare the bridge open.
There were then cheers as the first vehicle to use the new bridge - a Newbury Tools van - passed over safely.
West Berkshire councillor James Fredrickson (Con, Victoria) said that Newbury had experienced "short term pain" that was needed to bring long-term benefits to the town.
Network Rail has admitted the £2.5m project is one of the most complex of all its bridge replacements, due to the age of the structure and the number of utilities connected to it.
Boundary Road was previously closed for three months – from July 2015 until October 2015 – while utility services were diverted away from the bridge ahead of the main works taking place.
That closure caused gridlock, with some disgruntled people getting in touch with the Newbury Weekly News to say it was taking them up to 40 minutes to travel across town.
For more, see this week's Newbury Weekly News, out on Thursday.