INVESTIGATIONS into building a temporary crossing in Finchingfield are set to continue as the wait to replace the village’s 200-year old bridge goes on.

Essex Highways is planning to carry out trial hole investigation works to work out the precise location of utility services, such as pipes and cables, on the village green.

Bosses say the tests will give them a clearer picture as to whether providing a temporary crossing over Finchingfield Brook will be possible.

Residents and businesses have called for a temporary structure to be put in place while the bridge, which connects the two sides of the village, is demolished and rebuilt.

Highways bosses say the bridge must be rebuilt because it is in a “deteriorating condition”.

The trial hole investigations are expected to be carried out across a two-week period in October.

A spokesman said: “We anticipate carrying out these works in the autumn, however we are in the early stages of making these arrangements so details are subject to change.

“Finchingfield Bridge will remain open for these investigation works, however a small section of Bridge Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic.

Additional temporary traffic management may be required to facilitate the smooth running of vehicles through Finchingfield village.

“We are currently in the early preparatory stages for planning these works, however we are sharing information with Finchingfield Parish Council and will provide further details in relation to our working arrangements when the programme has been agreed.”

Essex Highways says it is working on a new design for the permanent bridge, which could see it made 1.5 metres wider. Despite the bigger size, planners will aim to keep the road width the same to enable the bridge to continue acting as a traffic-calming measure.

There are no plans to include a footway as part of the scheme.

Work on the new bridge was expected to take place this summer, but delays mean Highways will now aim to start demolition and construction work next year.