SABDEN village will be closed to through traffic between Clitheroe and Padiham for the next two weeks while a major operation to rebuild part of Padiham Road continues.
Workmen moved onto the site at the beginning of last week to start reconstructing the main road through the village, with contractors installing a number of heavy duty piles.
The road and retaining wall which runs over Sabden Brook, next to the Bull Bridge, collapsed in June and traffic has been reduced to one lane operation ever since.
Now the road has been closed completely for up to four weeks while contractors make a start on the £400,000 project. When it re-opens it will still be restricted to one lane with temporary traffic lights in place for several weeks.
Mr David Leung, principal bridge engineer with Lancashire County Council, said: “We have now started the retaining wall reconstruction and our contractor will install a number of heavy duty piles. It will take around four weeks, and because of the complex nature of this part of the project the road will have to remain closed until it is finished.
“We are hoping to re-open one lane of the road when we’ve finished the piling work, but both lanes will not be open for several months whilst the rest of the structure is rebuilt. We expect the project to cost in the region of £400,000.”
A progess report to Sabden Parish Council from the county council in August outlined the extent of the work involved and said that the wall could not simply be reconstructed in the same form as the existing structure because it would not meet current design standards, as demonstrated by the collapse.
A design for a substantial new structure had to be drawn up and the work go out to tender.
The remaining length of wall next to the bridge was inspected and although it was found not to display any signs of distress, a decision was taken to replace it.
The council has also had to liaise with BT, the mains water and gas services and the Environment Agency about working in and around the brook without disturbing the ecology of the water course.
The overall project is expected to take until December to complete. Meanwhile motorists and bus users are having to take diversions, although the road is still open to pedestrians.