Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth's Northern Road bridge to reopen early but delays will continue

Northern Road Bridge
Image caption The Department for Transport has provided £11m towards the total cost of the scheme

A busy commuter route in Portsmouth that has been closed for five months is to reopen early - but motorists should still expect delays.

A new Northern Road railway bridge in Cosham will open a month early on 24 June after the old bridge was demolished for being too weak.

But a temporary 20mph speed limit while building work is completed will cause delays, the city council has warned.

A council spokesman said the bridge would still be "a construction site".

Narrow lanes and the speed limit will be in place as the western side of the bridge still needs to be demolished and replaced.

Council project manager Ashley Chaplin said: "There will continue to be disruption, but everyone seems to appreciate it is for essential work."

Work began in September following the announcement of £11m of funding from the Department for Transport to go with £1.5m of council money.

The bridge closure in February caused disruption as about 1,500 cars an hour had to be diverted through Paulsgrove and Hilsea.

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