A £10 million scheme to replace a damaged bridge on a route in and out of Liverpool city centre has been delayed.
Following the removal of the weak bridge foundations on the A565 (Great Howard Street), contractors have encountered unforeseen ground conditions which requires a total redesign of the new foundations.
The new foundations will involve significant excavation works to place the new bridge on the bedrock and this additional work has led to a revised works programme.
A new engineering survey is currently being drafted by contractors Graham Construction who estimate the A565, which was due to reopen in April, will have to remain closed for a further 16 weeks.
The complex scheme, which has involved diverting existing utilities while maintaining power lines for surrounding businesses, has also been hampered by poor drainage.
Two official diversion routes will remain in force:
• For all traffic (including HGVs): via Sandhills Road, Commercial Road, Vauxhall Road and Leeds Street
• For non-HGVs only: via Dublin Street, Regent Road, Waterloo Road and Paisley Street
Further phases of the £48m programme to upgrade the A565 between 2017 and 2019 will require lane restrictions rather than a road closure, and will see:
• The completion of dual carriageway on the A565 on Great Howard Street/Derby Road between King Edward Street and Blackstone Street and Bankhall Street to Millers Bridge. (Starts Spring 2017)
• Improvements to Regent Road to make it more pedestrian and cycle friendly
• A new link road – extending Leeds Street to the waterfront.
Over the next few years more than £250 million will be spent upgrading Liverpool’s roads and tackling the historic backlog of highways repairs.
GRAHAM Construction contracts director Dave Brown said: “We knew replacing this bridge was a technically challenging scheme and unfortunately these unforeseen ground conditions have only become apparent once we reached an advanced stage of the excavation.
“This delay has been unavoidable and we are sorry for the inconvenience this is going to cause but safety always come first and the integrity of the new bridge is of paramount importance.”