Berkshire

Reading Cow Lane bridge opens to road traffic

A commuter route in Reading has reopened following the installation of a new 1,600-tonne bridge.

Cow Lane has been closed since early December for Network Rail to remove and replace one of two bridges and lay a new road under the structure.

The southern bridge was demolished on Christmas Day but work was held up because of water in the foundations.

Trains have already started using the bridge and Cow Lane was opened to traffic on Monday.

The concrete and steel structure was manoeuvred into place with a 66-axle vehicle on 27 December. Crowds of people turned out to watch the seven-hour operation.

The work has allowed for two lanes of traffic, a cycle lane and pavement under the new bridge and means double-decker buses can use the road.

Network Rail project director Bill Henry said the bridges were a "notorious bottleneck".

"We're very thankful to the patience of local residents and commuters who bore with us while we finished off this very important phase of our works," he said.

The work is part of the £850m Reading Station redevelopment with work on the northern Cow Lane bridge due to finish in 2015.

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