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One lane open each way on bridge as 'complicated' repairs to sinkhole continue

PUBLISHED: 16:48 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:48 05 June 2019

Caroline Rowe says she warned Highways England about the poor road condition five days before a sinkhole closed the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

Caroline Rowe says she warned Highways England about the poor road condition five days before a sinkhole closed the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

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A bridge has been opened to traffic as emergency carriageway repairs continue.

But motorists are being urged to allow extra time for journeys, as work restricts traffic to flow in one lane northbound and one lane southbound on the A47 bascule bridge in Lowestoft.

The discovery of a sinkhole led to the bridge being closed as Highways England and Anglian Water carried out the repairs.

The sinkhole has caused significant traffic disruption in Lowestoft and the surrounding area. Picture: Mick HowesThe sinkhole has caused significant traffic disruption in Lowestoft and the surrounding area. Picture: Mick Howes

A sinkhole opened up on the northbound carriageway of the A47 road at the junction between Station Square and Commercial Road - close to Papa John's Pizza - on Monday morning.

However while the bridge has partially reopened, rush hour traffic is said to be moving slowly according to some motorists.

Four way traffic control is in operation around the sinkhole on the A47 bascule bridge road in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesFour way traffic control is in operation around the sinkhole on the A47 bascule bridge road in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

On Twitter Lowestoft Sixth Form College encouraged "staff and students to leave early" to arrive at college on time, with delays being reported as traffic is "moving at a very slow pace."

It remains unclear when Anglian Water will complete the work to repair the sinkhole in Lowestoft as Highways England Tweeted: "Emergency carriageway repairs continue on the A47 Bascule Bridge is now open both directions, this will allow one lane of traffic northbound and one lane southbound.

Anglian Water are continuing with work to repair the sinkhole which opened up on the northbound carriageway of the A47 Bascule Bridge road at the junction between Station Square and Commercial Road in Lowestoft. Pictures; Mick HowesAnglian Water are continuing with work to repair the sinkhole which opened up on the northbound carriageway of the A47 Bascule Bridge road at the junction between Station Square and Commercial Road in Lowestoft. Pictures; Mick Howes

"Please continue to allow extra time for your journeys where possible."

Last night (Tuesday) an Anglian Water spokesman said: "Our team are currently investigating the sinkhole which has appeared in Lowestoft on Commercial Road, which we were alerted to by Highways England on Monday afternoon.

Work continues after a sinkhole opened up on the A47 bascule bridge in Lowestoft at the junction between Station Square and Commercial Road. Picture: Mark BoggisWork continues after a sinkhole opened up on the A47 bascule bridge in Lowestoft at the junction between Station Square and Commercial Road. Picture: Mark Boggis

"We don't know what has caused the sinkhole, but our investigations have found a section of sewer pipe which needs to be repaired under the damaged road.

"Due to the location of the pipe and a number of other utilities nearby including gas and electricity, this is a complicated repair which will require careful excavation, by hand, before we can begin any repairs to our pipework.

"Once the hole has been excavated our teams can properly assess the damage and give a better estimate of how long the repair will take."

Anglian Water said its team is "working 24/7 to make a repair as quickly as possible."

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