A MAJOR stage of bridge works has been completed, paving the way for it to re-open.

Essex Highways started work on the Hoe Mill Bridge, between Ulting and Woodham Walter, in August last year and said it would be due for completion last November.

However, the project was delayed due to weather conditions, pushing the provisional finish date back to May.

A county council spokesman said: “We are pleased to confirm all scour protection works are complete and the contractor has demobilised the site.

“The bridge is in a weakened condition and will remain closed until a temporary width restriction can be installed.

“The temporary restriction will enforce the current weight limit and prevent vehicles from parking on the bridge and will be in place until long-term improvements are made.”

Wide vehicles will be required to follow the current diversion route.

Work to install the width restriction will start on Monday, February 17 and take about three days to complete.

Once the width restriction is installed, the road will re-open with two-way traffic lights to help traffic flow over the bridge.

The project is still set to be completed in May.

The council spokesman added: “We would like to thank residents for their patience and support during these works.”