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  1. ITV Report

Major improvement work for the A138 Chelmer Viaduct to start in Essex

Advanced preparations to replace a viaduct over the river Chelmer in Chelmsford in Essex are due to start today.

The replacement of the existing viaduct is necessary as the bridge is in a poor condition and is deteriorating. If no action is taken then the A138 could become subject to weight restrictions and eventual closures.

The scheme which is part of a £28 million investment programme will involve the construction of the new viaduct and the demolition of the existing viaduct, building three lanes of carriageway, a shared footway and cycleway and a new footpath.

Today advanced works will begin for the main access site to be constructed off Chelmer Village Way. The works will involve realignment of road kerbing and footpath, surfacing of Bell mouth, establishing a site compound and altering existing street lighting.

The advanced works will take place over 10 days from 8am until 6pm and lane one westbound will be closed from Beeleigh Link roundabout to Chelmer Way roundabout.

The A138 Chelmer Road is a vital transport link and heavily used by local residents and businesses within Chelmsford. The existing Chelmer Viaduct is in a poor condition, although we're content it remains safe for use at the moment. The majority of the advanced works will be carried out offline with minimal disruption to local residents and businesses. It will allow the contractors to prepare the site ready for the main works to begin. We have planned the work carefully to minimise disruption and are engaging with those affected to ensure they're aware of the work. I would advise anyone wishing to use the viaduct to plan their journeys and to allow extra time.

– Rob Barron, Highways Agency Contract Performance Team Leader

The main works are due to start in February subject to weather conditions and will take approximately 18 months to complete.