Network Rail has today (Monday, 16 September) apologised to residents, motorists and businesses in Wellingborough as work to upgrade Higham Road bridge requires a longer road closure than originally planned.

Whilst work to upgrade the structure is in its final phase and will complete on schedule, the westbound carriageway will now reopen in early November instead of Wednesday, 16 October after poor weather conditions over key summer weekends hampered work on-site.

As part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, Network Rail engineers have been working to raise the height of the bridge since January in order to provide safe clearance from overhead line equipment as the route between Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby is electrified.

The westbound section of the A45 carriageway over the bridge closed in February to allow this part of the bridge to be demolished and reconstructed and, during this time, contraflow has been installed on the eastbound carriageway. 

The contraflow will be removed in early November. Network Rail is also advising those living in the area that there will be a small number of short-term single lane closures on the eastbound carriageway in November as work takes place to raise the height of the walls on the older bridge section. The walls need to be raised to prevent people coming into contact with live electrical equipment below.

Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to apologise that the road will not fully reopen on Wednesday, 16 October. Whilst we have been able to recover most of the time caused by the wet or windy conditions affecting key crane lifts, we have not been able to overcome the weather completely.

“I would like to reassure motorists, residents and businesses that we are working as hard as we can to fully reopen the road and we would like to thank them for their continued patience.”

Network Rail is also working to upgrade Station Road Bridge, which links Burton Latimer and Isham, which will reopen on Monday, 25 November.