The work to replace a railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, Stoke Gifford, has been completed, but the road will remain closed until the middle of next year.

Gipsy Patch Lane will not reopen until July 2021 to enable further works on the carriageway.

This work is to make way for the new bus lanes and shared use cycle and pedestrian pathways.

The footpath under the railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane also remains closed at this time.

Network Rail are continuing to run a shuttle bus service for pedestrians needing to access either side of the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge. This service is free of charge and will operate for the duration of time the railway bridge is closed to pedestrians.

The new 4,260-tonne railway bridge installed on Gipsy Patch Lane was the heaviest precast concrete bridge move of its kind ever undertaken in UK.

The new wider bridge, which is part of the Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension (CPME), will provide room for new bus lanes in each direction and shared use cycle and pedestrian pathways, as well as general traffic lanes.

These measures are designed to encourage people to use more sustainable transport options and will benefit road users by relieving the pinch point in traffic flow at the railway bridge, reducing traffic queuing, improving metrobus and other local bus journey times, and improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

Network Rail and its contractor Alun Griffiths carried out the bridge replacement work on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council during a rail line closure.

Work was carried out night and day to remove the track and overhead line equipment, demolish the former bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, move the new bridge into position and reinstall the track and overhead line equipment.

Unfortunately, due to an engineering problem experienced during the bridge move, this work took longer than expected and the closure of the rail line had to be extended.

South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Strategic Infrastructure Councillor Steve Reade said: “It is good to see the new railway bridge in place on Gipsy Patch Lane after so much hard work.

“This has been a significant engineering project that involved the heaviest lift of its kind in the UK and was not without risk and not without its challenges.

“The bridge replacement work marks a crucial milestone for the CPME project, which will help improve public transport in South Gloucestershire by extending the popular metrobus service.

“The new bridge will not only alleviate a known pinch point on a busy route but will also improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and provide infrastructure for a new bus route.

“We would like to thank people for their continued patience as we progress to the next phase of work, which will include lowering the road below the new bridge.”

Any questions or issues about the work can be raised via the Network Rail 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41.