Bridge to remain closed until 'at least Wednesday evening' after sinkhole appears
PUBLISHED: 13:11 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:00 04 June 2019
Motorists can expect prolonged delays as workers attempt to repair the damage that closed a major bridge.
There was widespread chaos across Lowestoft and the surrounding area yesterday (June 3) as a sinkhole opened up in the road at junction between the A47 Station Square and Commercial Road.
The town's Bascule Bridge was subsequently closed to northbound traffic and police urged motorists to avoid the area, while Anglian Water said they were working with Highways England to assess the problem.
This morning the road remains closed to northbound traffic between its junctions with the A12 (Mill Road) and the A1144, but the southbound carriageway remains open and pedestrians can still walk across the bridge.
There were reports of gridlocked traffic at the height of early morning rush hour, with vehicles jam-packed from Stradbroke Road in Pakefield through to Oulton Broad.
Drivers have been experiencing delays of around 28 minutes on Bloodmoor Road northbound between A12 and A1117 Bridge Road.
Lowestoft Sixth Form College is meanwhile advising students to "leave early" in order to make it in time for their exams, which are "going on as normal." Students should contact the college if they are likely to arrive late.
East Suffolk Council also posted on social media to inform residents that refuse collections had been affected, with disruption at Crestview Drive, Northgate, the Gunton estate, Ipswich Road and Oxford Road. Bins "definitely" won't be collected from Elm Tree Road today.
Highways England say the emergency work being carried out is "extensive" and is likely to "extend through to at least Wednesday (June 5) evening.
A spokesman added: "This closure is due to an emergency carriageway repair operation and Highways England is working with utilities companies to restore normal conditions as soon as possible."
A local diversion is available, with diverted traffic advised to take the A1117 northbound towards Oulton Broad and continue along the road until the roundabout with the B1375.
Take the B1375 northbound towards Great Yarmouth and continue to re-join the A47 at Rackhams Corner.
This latest disruption struck just nine days after a 16ft sinkhole appeared in Sheringham, closing the road for seven days and affecting high street trade.
Business leaders in Lowestoft have, however, moved to reassure shoppers that the town centre is still accessible, with a spokesman for Lowestoft Vision emphasising the town remains "open for business as usual".
Keep up to date with the latest traffic information by checking the EDP's live traffic map.