A HISTORICAL bridge in Lechlade will reopen tomorrow following months of waiting.

Gloucestershire County Council has just confirmed that the Halfpenny Bridge on the A361 in Lechlade will reopen at 4.30pm on Friday, November 3.

A vehicle collided with the historic bridge in the early hours of Tuesday, June 20 causing significant damage to the wall of the bridge and it has been closed to all traffic ever since.

GCC has been carrying out repairs which also required the approval of Historic England and the Secretary of State, as the bridge is a listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

During the course of the works a defect was uncovered which will require further repairs.

A hole was discovered behind part of the brickwork at one end of the bridge, having been washed away through years of rising and falling water levels.

It has been reviewed by engineers and the bridge can be safely reopened with continual monitoring. 

Discussions are being held with Historic England and the Environment Agency over the repairs needed and it is anticipated that the road will be able to remain open while they are carried out, with traffic lights in place to manage the flow of vehicles.

The southeast footpath over the bridge and the pedestrian arch below the bridge will remain closed until these repairs are completed.

Cllr Dom Morris, cabinet member responsible for highways at Gloucestershire County Council and local member for Fairford and Lechlade, said: “It’s fantastic news that the bridge can now be reopened.

"I know how hard the closure has been for local residents and businesses and I would like to thank them for their patience.

“This was a complex project and I’m grateful for the hard work of our highways team and all our partners for ensuring this was completed in the timeframe set out. 

"The bridge will be continually monitored while final repairs are carried out and I hope these will be completed as soon as possible.”