Long Load bridge to reopen after military divers find it to be safe following six weeks of flooding misery


A BRIDGE is to be reopened after six weeks of flooding misery for the villages of Long Load and Long Sutton after military divers gave the all clear.

The bridge was closed at the beginning of January after a Police officer standing on the bridge reported safety concerns.

The road leading to the bridge is also flooded making it totally inaccessible and in effect cutting off homes and businesses from communities.

The closure has caused businesses in the two villages to suffer with Long Sutton Stores seeing a dramatic drop in customers due to the lack of passing trade.

Locals criticised the closure earlier this week and claimed there was no proof that the bridge was unsafe.

And now Royal Engineer divers with Somerset County Council experts have inspected the bridge under the fast-flowing waters and found no significant issues.

A tree trunk has been wedged underneath it which will need to be cleared once the waters have receded – but other than that the bridge was found to be structurally safe.

County council cabinet member David Hall said: “This is a great relief. The closure has caused the local community enormous disruption, long journeys and put the village shop at risk.

“Once we can get the road approaching the bridge back open, then life for these communities can start to get back to normal.”

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