Traffic disruption expected on busy Fife bridge during 10 weeks of work
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The work highlights continued progress in relation to two major projects in the Levenmouth area, with the replacement of the Leven Rail Bridge – known locally as the Bawbee Bridge – and the return of rail services to the town in 2024.
Before the existing bridge can be demolished, Openreach engineers need to conduct essential infrastructure works to re-route hundreds of optical fibre circuits.
Temporary traffic lights will therefore be in operation on and around the bridge and some roads will be closed to facilitate safe traffic movements around the works. That could lead to delays and disruption at busy times, and motorists are being urged to plan ahead and leave extra time for their journeys.
The works will be undertaken in two phases, with the first commencing on Monday, July 25, and lasting for around five weeks. To minimise delays, a southbound closure will be implemented on Riverside Road after the Sainsburys roundabout and two-way traffic lights will be in place on the A955.
The second phase, which will again last for around five weeks, will begin on or before Monday, August 29. Again, to minimise delays, an eastbound closure will be in place on Wellesley Road and the southbound closure on Riverside Road will remain. This will allow for the installation of three-way traffic lights.
Traffic lights will be person operated during peak periods to manage the traffic flows as best possible, and the works will be monitored to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum at all times.
Bus services using the routes will also be affected and will be subject to the same delays.
Peter Morrell, Openreach’s project delivery manager, said: “To facilitate the bridge works we need to move phone and broadband cables which currently travel across the old bridge in ducts.
“We’ll be demolishing two existing underground chambers, building new chambers and rerouting these essential cables so we can continue to provide local people and businesses with services.
“We’ve been working closely with Fife Council and are following their advice on traffic management to make sure that safe access can be maintained for bridge users including pedestrians.
“The scale and complexity of work on the bridge – planned for up to 10 weeks – means some disruption to drivers is inevitable, so we’d advise local people to take this into consideration when planning journeys, and our contractors will do all they can to complete work as swiftly as possible.”
Once the telecommunications work is done, the focus will then be on removing and replacing the Leven Rail Bridge – which has been subject to an 18 tonnes weight limit since the 1990s – later this year.
The nature and extent of the work means that the A955 over the River Leven will be closed for up to a year to enable the removal and reconstruction of the bridge.
However, a temporary bridge will be created to minimise disruption for road users and avoid the need for a lengthy five-mile diversion.