Experts have discovered structural weaknesses in a key railway bridge just outside West Kirby Station.
Wirral council is to bring in special road traffic restrictions on the bridge, near the town’s popular Aldi supermarket, which will see part of Bridge Road turned into a one way street to take the strain off the structure.
Lorries and heavy vehicles over 26 tonnes will be banned from using the bridge until it has been made safe.
Network Rail, which owns the bridge, discovered that it had deteriorated during a recent structural inspection, and has asked the council to impose the traffic restrictions on the grounds of public safety.
The restrictions will come into force on Monday, February 8, and are expected to remain in place for up to 18 months.
The council and Network Rail are liaising with the aim of carrying out permanent strengthening works on the railway bridge.
Traffic signs, barriers and road markings will be set up around the bridge shortly by a council contractor.
Vehicles will be able to travel west only on Bridge Road from its Orrysdale Road junction towards Grange Road. Bridge Road will remain two-way between Grange Road and the Aldi supermarket car park.
Anyone who has any concerns about the project can raise them online with Wirral council’s highways department here, quoting the scheme reference number TTRO/16/01.
The Merseyrail West Kirby line, which runs under the weakened railway bridge, is a key route used by thousands of commuters every day on journeys to and from Birkenhead and Liverpool. It it not yet known if the strengthening work will involve any disruption to rail services from West Kirby station in the months ahead.