Rain delays opening of Stroud bridge

The opening of a new canal bridge in Gloucestershire has been delayed for two months due to problems caused by heavy rain.

The A46 Merrywalks Bridge in Stroud is being built by Gloucestershire County Council as part of the Cotswold Canals Restoration Project.

The £1.8m bridge had been due to open later this month.

But a council spokesman said it was now expected to be finished in January. A diversion over Wallbridge is in place.

'Not foreseen'

A spokesman for the authority said the reasons for the delay included the site being flooded by Slad Brook due to heavy rain and having to work around BT cables that were lower than expected.

Project manager Nigel Edgeworth said it was disappointing the road would not be open by Christmas, but the issues could not have been foreseen.

Councillor Stan Waddington, said: "The diversion has worked so well, we are confident it won't impact on Christmas trade in the town."

Carole Garfield, chair of Stroud Chamber of Commerce, added: "We hope there will be no disruption and everyone will continue to shop in Stroud."

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