Part of the northbound lanes on the Humber Bridge will close tomorrow as part of on-going essential maintenance work to strengthen the landmark crossing.
The £3.9m project to replace four solid steel “A-frames”, which connect the main span bridge deck to the towers at either end of the bridge, will require the closure of the nearside lane, from Tuesday 21st January. The changes to traffic flow are necessary to reduce the load on the structure whilst the work is carried out and to enable safe access to the working areas.
Although the repairs started in October, Bridgemaster Peter Hill wanted to phase in the lane closures, following the congestion that arose when installing traffic management for the toll project in July. With this in mind, contractors have strived to complete as much work as possible from underneath the bridge, in order to minimise disruption for motorists.
The lane closure on the southbound carriageway came into force in early December, with the changes to traffic flow on the northbound lanes being phased in from tomorrow.
Peter said: “We agreed with our contractors, Spencer Group, on Friday to start rolling out the northbound lane closure in stages, starting tomorrow, and gradually extending it across the Bridge to be fully installed on Friday, which is typically a quiet day for traffic.
“This will, hopefully, help people get used to filtering into a single lane across the bridge and out to three lane again at the toll booths. We will be assessing if we need any additional signage at the toll plaza as we go, so this could be in place before the lane is taken out right across the bridge.
“With the lane closures in place for around 40 weeks, we appreciate that customers will be concerned that this work could cause disruption in and around the toll area. But we want to reassure bridge users that we have carefully assessed any potential impact and have planned an effective traffic management system during this period of work. We will continue to monitor this throughout the repairs.”
Although traffic will be restricted to a single carriageway in each direction across the bridge during the “A-Frame” works, there will still be three toll booths open in each direction, as at present. This will only be reduced to two booths, or possibly one, at the quietest times during nights or weekends, and only when the toll plaza works make this essential for safety. There will also be a reduced speed limit.
Peter also wants to highlight that, although this maintenance work is completely unrelated to the Humber Bridge Toll Project - which is currently underway and will see a smoother, quicker traffic flow across the bridge – it is both economically and operationally sensible to undertake the works in parallel. This avoids having to duplicate the lane restrictions for each project separately, which would significantly extend the duration of disruption for bridge users.
For updates on the work and traffic flow, visit www.humberbridge.co.uk
Alternatively, look out for news about the lane closures on the Humber Bridge Facebook page, as well as the new Humber Bridge Updates app, which can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play, or from the Play or App Store on your device.
Top tips for smooth traffic flow on the Humber Bridge
This July, work began on the Humber Bridge’s new electronic tolling system to speed up crossing for bridge users and provide them with more choice. In addition to this is the ongoing, essential and unavoidable repair work, which started in early December.
With the maintenance work continuing until next summer, the Humber Bridge Board is also planning ahead for the winter months, and the effects poor weather will bring, to minimise disruption.
Live traffic updates will be available on the official website, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and through the new Humber Bridge Updates app, so bridge users can plan ahead. There will also be additional signs on the northbound and southbound bridge approach roads, to inform motorists of lane closures and toll charges.
Working alongside the Board, motorists can also help to minimise disruption. Here is a handy “Seven-point plan” that bridge users can follow to make their journey across the Humber Bridge quicker and smoother for everyone:
Please ensure that you have the right change, or pre-paid tickets available when you approach the toll booths. Paying with the highest denomination possible, so a £1 coin and 50 pence piece for a car, will help speed things up.
If at all possible, try to plan your bridge crossing at an off-peak time. We appreciate this is unavoidable for those commuting, but your social visits across the bridge will probably be a lot quicker if you travel on evenings and weekends.
If convenient, look to car share with friends or colleagues who are making the same journey.
Three payment points will be open on the bridge at peak times, so please make sure you use them all. Look out for all the open booths (these will be clearly signposted) – not just those with a queue of traffic.
Please do not stop on the toll plaza, except at the toll booths, as this blocks lanes and causes a build-up of traffic. If you need to pull over to look for change, please use the laybys on the approach roads.
There is a good chance that any questions you may have for our toll booth operators during this busy time can be answered prior to your journey on our website. Doing this will not only improve the smoothness of your journey, but also that of other motorists.
Finally, make sure you are fully up-to-date with the latest traffic news by downloading the new Humber Bridge Updates app. It is free and is available from iTunes and Google Play, or from the Play or App Store on your device.
Everyone at the Humber Bridge Board is thankful for your support and patience in this matter. If you require any further information about the project, please visit www.humberbridgetollproject.co.uk
If you have any specific questions about the project, or would like to submit any feedback, you can do so through the link on the homepage of the toll project website to firstname.lastname@example.org