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Medieval bridge closed for repairs may not open on set date due to rain

Collapsed Long Bridge in Lower Heyford, near Bicester <i>(Image: Ian Corkin)</i>
Collapsed Long Bridge in Lower Heyford, near Bicester (Image: Ian Corkin)

A medieval bridge which was closed for vital repair works may not open on the given date due to rain.

Grade II Listed Long Bridge in Lower Heyford, near Bicester, was closed for reconstruction work earlier this year after a section of its stone structure crumbled away.

The road atop it is due to reopen on December 10, and Ian Corkin, county councillor for Ploughley, received an update from Oxfordshire County Council.

READ MORE: Barclays date of closure has been announced

A spokesperson told him: “All kerbs and gully works are completed. We have finished planning off the road and are now laying the binder course.

“Unfortunately, it’s forecasting to rain all day tomorrow (Thursday, November 7) which means we can’t complete the wearing course. We’ll finish the surfacing works on Friday.

“We will be able to complete the road marking and studs on Friday afternoon, and we expect to complete the traffic signal loops installation on Saturday and Sunday. After which the road will be opened.

“There is still a chance of rain which could affect the road reopening on December 10, perhaps delayed by a day. That could happen.”

Long Bridge was originally built in 1550 to carry horse and cart, it had been in disrepair for a number of years before it collapsed.

Parish councillors and local villagers had been calling for weight restriction to be applied to the bridge amid frequent use of the road by HGVs and other large vehicles.

The county council has maintained the collapse was caused by water from the carriageway getting into and weakening the fabric of the bridge.

 

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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1