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19 January 2011, 17:14 | Updated: 19 January 2011, 17:16
Northamptonshire County Council is implementing an emergency weight restriction across a bridge in Corby because it is deemed unsafe.
The order will be placed on the structure in Geddington Road because it has been classified as being an ‘immediate risk’ to the public.
This order will restrict the use of the bridge by all vehicles over three tonnes in weight. So in general, all cars should still be able to use the bridge including 4x4 vehicles.
Vehicles over three tonnes in weight will have to follow a diversion route along the A427 and the A43.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “As part of the assessment process, structures can be classified as low risk or immediate risk. Immediate risk structures are considered to represent an immediate and unacceptable risk to the public.
“The recent assessment of Geddington Road Bridge would suggest that the bridge falls into the ‘Immediate Risk’ category.
“For bridges in this category immediate action such as load mitigation interim measures, need to be taken as a matter of urgency, to reduce load effects on the structure whilst a strengthening / replacement scheme is being prepared.
“The emergency order will take away the immediate risks to the public and allow time for a temporary order to be put in place with the associated diversionary signing whilst the county council works with Corus to provide a permanent solution.”
Geddington Road Bridge is a two span reinforced concrete structure carrying Geddington Road over a twin track rail line. Both the bridge and the railway line are owned by Corus.
Until now, traffic on the bridge has been unrestricted meaning that vehicles up to 40 tonnes can use the bridge.
The bridge has been monitored on a regular basis since 1999 due to its poor condition. The monitoring regime was designed to mitigate risk in the sense that regular visual inspections could be utilised to identify signs of imminent failure and enable emergency closure of the bridge or similar measures to be implemented if deemed necessary.