Repairs to cracked bridge set to cause traffic delays

Cowdray Bridge, Colchester Essex

Repairs are to be carried out to Colchester's Cowdray Bridge - Credit: Essex Highways

A crack to Colchester's well-known Cowdray Bridge is to be repaired - meaning delays for motorists while the essential work is carried out.

The crack in the base of one of the ornamental bridge columns, known as pilasters, was discovered when engineers were strengthening a wall to the south and west of the Ipswich Road roundabout.

At the time repairs were made on the bridge, which runs over the main railway line, to enable one lane of the roundabout to stay open.

But further work to reinforce the bridge will start from Monday, June 7, which mean an additional lane closure at the Ipswich Road roundabout between Ipswich Road South and Cowdray Avenue during the first phase of the works. 

One lane of traffic will be kept open on the roundabout, but Essex Highways says it aims to reopen lanes as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. 

Cowdray Bridge, Colchester Essex

A crack is to be repaired at the Cowdray Bridge in Colchester - Credit: Essex Highways

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Although working hours are between 8am and 5pm, the restrictions will be required 24 hours a day.

The works will continue until Friday, August 27 but the lane restrictions could be lifted by the end of July.

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Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council cabinet member for highways maintenance and sustainable transport, said: “The safety of road users in Essex is of paramount importance and our utmost responsibility.

"This safety issue on the Cowdray Bridge has to be repaired as quickly as possible.

“I know this lane will be closed soon after work was completed on the Ipswich Road/Harwich Road junction.

"I absolutely understand these works may be an inconvenience - however they are essential, especially as the bridge runs over the main railway line.”

Residents and businesses are encouraged to check the Essex Highways' website for the latest updates, including any changes to traffic management arrangements.

Visit or the dedicated Cowdray Bridge page here

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