THESE pictures show the reason for essential maintenance to Redbridge Causeway, which has been causing delays of up to 75 minutes and is set to last for 11 weeks.
Cllr Nick Adams-King has shared shocking images showing the 'concrete cancer' on the underside of the bridge during a recent inspection.
In a social media post, the Hampshire councillor and cabinet member for highways, explained the works are essential for everyone's safety and will extend the life of the causeway by at least 60 years.
He said: "I’m really sorry about the traffic problems. These works were trailed considerably in advance, both in the press and on social media.
"I’m afraid this work is absolutely necessary. I took a look at the underside of the bridge myself recently. Essentially the structure is suffering from ‘concrete cancer’ and the works we are doing are as a consequence essential to the safety of everyone using the causeway. They will also extend the life of the causeway by at least 60 years.
"I realise it is hugely disruptive, but we took the decision to do the works now in a window during which holiday traffic was at a minimum, there are no major events happening either in the city or the Forest and the number of cruise ship arrivals/departures is at its lowest too.
"Nighttime working isn’t possible I’m afraid, the work they are undertaking is very noisy and would affect a wide area both in Totton and Redbridge.
"If it is of any comfort, this is the final push and the disruptive work should be completed by Easter.
"I’m sorry that’s an explanation and not a solution to the traffic problems, but I hope you understand why we have to do these works now."
Work to refurbish the bridge, a key route into Southampton from Totton and the New Forest, is costing £25 million.
Sixty-year-old Redbridge Causeway carries around 60,000 vehicles in and out of Southampton over Test Lane, the railway and the River Test each day.
The southbound lane is closed to keep traffic off the south side of Redbridge Road Bridge while repairs are carried out directly beneath it.
Weather permitting, Hampshire County Council expect this phase of work to take a maximum of 11 weeks.
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