A HISTORIC bridge, which is an important road link for residents, is set to undergo essential repairs in the coming weeks.

The Finchingfield bridge is more than 200-years-old and is a famous landmark in the village.

The crossing also carries the B1053 which is an important road for Finchingfield residents with the bridge connecting both halves of the village over its pond.

However, the bridge needs to undergo repairs in order to be used safely by residents.

The bridge is expected to be closed for around ten days with Essex Highways saying the bridge will be closed from 5am on Monday 17 August.

They estimate the bridge won't reopen until the end of the day on Thursday 27 August.

To help residents understand the works and the impact it'll have, here is everything you need to know about the Finchingfield bridge repairs.

How will the works impact drivers?

The works are expected to cause major disruption for Finchingfield residents.

From Sunday 16 August, there will be a partial closure of Bridge Street in order to accommodate a worksite compound.

The street won't fully reopen until the works end, which is expected to be on August 27.

The main source of disruption for drivers will be the full closure of the B1053 at Finchingfield Bridge from August 17.

The bridge will be fully closed to vehicles by 5am and wont reopen until the works are complete.

Essex Highways have made it clear that no vehicles will be permitted to pass over the bridge.

However, Essex Highways have stated that a formal diversion route will be in place during the closure.

The route would take residents more than 15 miles away from the village and recommend residents travel through Little Sampford, Great Sampford, Hempstead, Steeple Bumpstead and Cornish Hall End to reach the other side of the village.

However, Essex Highways say they appreciate that some local people may choose to use local alternative routes with many other smaller roads available.

What work is being done?

The bridge in a "deteriorating condition that needs to be dismantled and rebuilt" according to Essex Highways.

Following extensive planning, Essex Highways aim to temporarily fix the bridge in order to make it safe enough for residents to use.

The planned works aims to carry out essential parapet repairs to the bridge include reconstructing the northern parapet.

These works will be carried out between 7am and 6pm from Monday 17 August until Thursday 27 August.

However, they say the dates are subject to change depending on suitable weather and unexpected issues according to Essex Highways.

The work is only an interim measure to preserve the bridge until a new one can be built.

Additional investigations will be carried out during the road closure to support the design of a replacement structure.

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: "Following some initial proposals shared by Essex Highways in 2016, new design options have been explored in discussion with Finchingfield Parish Council, Braintree District Councillors and County Members.

"Together, we aim to deliver a scheme that safeguards the bridge crossing for the future as well as protecting iconic views of the village.

"The Parish Council and District and County Councillors agreed that Essex Highways should start the necessary site investigations in order for a replacement bridge to be built.

"These site surveys were carried out in February 2019 to inform future detailed design work to progress a future scheme.

"Our future intention is to dismantle the existing structure and replace the bridge with one built in the same location with a very similar look to the existing bridge.

"These proposals will lead to a bridge that will be up to 1.5 metres wider overall, but maintaining the same road width, so that the bridge continues to act as a traffic calming feature.

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

What about buses?

Temporary bus arrangement are also in place during the closure.

Arrangements have been confirmed for an interconnecting replacement shuttle bus service - the number 9 and 16 - to be available.

The timetable and pick up and drop off arrangements have been confirmed by Essex County Council Passenger transport and will be displayed at the existing bus shelter in the village centre.

Timetable details are also available on the Stephensons webpage.

Essex highways also say the service will stop one side of Finchingfield Bridge in the village centre allowing passengers to make their way to the other side of the bridge, via the current pedestrian footbridge over the village pond, in order to pickup the interconnecting service.

Are there any parking restrictions?

During the works, a no parking zone will be set up in areas either side of the bridge.

This is to provide space for large vehicles to turn.

Essex Highways say notices will clearly identify the sections of roads and period when parking enforcement is effective.

No parking cones and signage will also be in place.

The restrictions apply 24 hours a day and include The Causeway, Brent Hall Road and The Green.

Essex Highways say, if your car is parked in a no parking zone, they will try to contact you but you are at risk of receiving a Penalty Charge Notice.

Essex Highways also have the authority to remove vehicles within a zone.

For more information about bus times, parking zones and alternative routes, visit https://bit.ly/EssexHighways