A County Durham bridge will be closed for two days this week as part of the next phase of a major restoration project.

Deerness Bridge, which links Ushaw Moor and New Brancepeth, will be out of action on Wednesday, 15 and Thursday, 16 November ahead of it undergoing repairs.

Diversion routes will be in place via Langley Moor, Broompark and Ushaw Moor during the closure with signs to inform drivers. Alternative arrangements have been made for public and school bus services which normally cross the bridge.

A one way system will be in operation during the closure between the B6302 junction on Cockhouse Lane, Ushaw Moor and Fairfalls Terrace at New Brancepeth. The one way system will be in a southerly direction with a 7.5 tonne weight restriction and a 40mph speed limit.

The 110 year old crossing was closed by Durham County Council in June last year after a survey identified structural issues. A bailey bridge was subsequently brought in to keep the road open – with this placed on top of the closed crossing.

The temporary structure is now to be lifted to allow repairs to be carried out to the bridge. The interim structure is being moved a short distance to allow vehicles and pedestrians to continue crossing the River Deerness.

Repairs to the bridge will run into next year.

John Reed, the council’s head of technical services, said: “We’re really pleased to be in a position to begin repairs to Deerness Bridge. To do this we need to move the bailey bridge and we will have to close the road for a couple of days so this can happen.

“We realise this will cause some inconvenience but we have planned the work carefully to keep disruption to a minimum and we’d like to thank people in advance for their patience. The road will reopen on Friday once the bailey bridge is in its new location.”

Arriva bus 48 and Scarlet Band’s number 47 which normally cross the bridge will be affected by the short term closure. Free shuttle bus services will be in operation on either side of the crossing allowing people to continue their journeys along alternative routes.

Services for students at Durham Community Business College and St Leonard’s School will also be affected.

Further information and details of diversions and alternative transport arrangements can be found at http://www.durham.gov.uk/deernessbridge

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