A RAILWAY bridge in Leamington will be replaced over Easter.
Rugby Road railway bridge over the A445 will be completely replaced from Thursday April 14 to Tuesday April 19 as part of a £2.4million investment to improve future journeys between Leamington and Nuneaton.
A speed limit of 20mph is currently in place for trains because of the existing bridge’s condition.
Warwick District Council has given Network Rail permission to use a section of nearby Potterton Sports Fields as a temporary site compound during the project.
This will let engineers build the new bridge before the completed structure is driven down the A445 by a huge transporter vehicle during a full railway closure over the Easter bank holiday.
For the essential upgrade to be safely carried out, some roads and footpaths will also be closed at certain times.
Paul Randall, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Replacing Rugby Road railway bridge is a complex engineering project and I’d like to thank residents and businesses in advance of this major work, and also for their patience while we’ve been upgrading another bridge at Princes Drive nearby.
“There will be some disruption during the upgrade which is why we’re holding an information event at The Jephson Hotel so people can find out more. I’d urge anyone to come along and meet some of the project team and we can explain in person how this important work is making the railway in Leamington better for the future.”
Coun Alan Rhead, Warwick District Council’s environment and neighbourhood services spokesman, said: “This is essential passenger safety work which needs to be completed by Network Rail as soon as possible.
“We are therefore happy to offer our support through the provision of part of Potterton Fields, Portobello Way on a temporary basis. Once complete the land will be restored to its former use as a public space with a number of enhancements being made to improve the biodiversity .
“While the southern part of the fields are currently fenced off at both bridge access points the rest of the park will remain open to the public.”
It is the second major investment into the railway in Leamington this year.
Strengthening and repainting work is currently taking place on the railway bridge at Princes Drive.
That project, set to be completed later this month, has created much anger among residents due to traffic congestion created around the town.
* Network Rail is inviting residents and businesses to find out more about how the Rugby Road bridge work could impact them between 3pm and 7pm on Thursday March 17 at The Jephson Hotel – formerly the Falstaff Hotel – on Warwick New Road.
A helpline has also been set up on the Warwick District Council website.