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Locals rejoice at re-opening of road after 19 months
Residents and business are rejoicing as their road is finally due to reopen after 19 months of road closures.
The road bridge in Wilbury Villas in Hove will reopen in June, after it was closed by Network Rail over safety concerns in September 2012.
A routine inspection revealed a crack in the iron structure thought to have been caused by oversized lorries and £100,000 of repairs needed to be done.
Vehicles six times bigger than the bridge's three-tonne vehicle capacity were reportedly using the road.
When it reopens Brighton and Hove City Council officials will bring in width restrictions to prevent HGVs using the weight-restricted bridge and causing further damage.
Residents and businesses are set to mark the occasion with a street party on June 14.
The news of the road's reopening is music to the ears of Melanie White, who runs The Dock cafe on the bridge, which opened just weeks before the road was closed.
She says the celebration will be a “proper old street party” with food and music stalls, games for kids and will include all businesses based at The Dock.
She said: “It has been quite frustrating that it has taken this long.
“Its impact on the cafe has been huge, we only opened a few weeks before they closed it and nobody really knew we were here.
“It has been slow progress but hopefully when the road is open again people will be able to see what we are all about.
“It will be a great day when the road opens again.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “The bridge has been repaired - the defect was a fracture to the cast iron girder, which was repaired by a technique called plating.
“We're in discussions with the council regarding a reopening date as they need to carry out some work of their own concerning width restrictions to avoid an abuse of the weight restriction which is how the bridge came to be damaged in the first place.”
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