Essex

Chelmsford Army and Navy flyover closed permanently

Army and Navy flyover, Chelmsford
Image caption An engineering assessment found the Army and Navy flyover in Chelmsford city centre to be unsafe

A 40-year-old city centre flyover has been closed permanently after a report found it to be unsafe for traffic.

Essex County Council said new defects were revealed on the Army and Navy flyover in Chelmsford.

The raised road's supports had been found to have moved during the hot weather over the summer.

Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for infrastructure, said emergency action had to be taken on the flyover, which crosses a roundabout.

Image caption The flyover opened in the 1970s and allows traffic using Essex Yeomanry Way and Parkway to avoid the roundabout on a raised highway

The structure was closed indefinitely in July. It had previously closed in September last year after an inspection found two of its supporting columns were damaged.

Mr Bentley said he would not risk putting any residents in danger.

"The flyover cannot be left in its current condition, even with no traffic using it, as it is still experiencing movement," he said.

"Therefore I will be looking urgently at the next steps to remove the flyover."

The council is advising people to use public transport or walk when possible to reduce traffic congestion at the busy junction.

Image caption The flyover is a single lane road, which was open to traffic in one direction or the other, depending on the time of day

A taskforce has been set up to consider the future of the flyover and roundabout.

Mr Bentley added: "A short-term fix of the movement caused by the very hot weather will not enable safe use of the flyover.

"The central recommendation of the report I received today is that the Army and Navy flyover should not be repaired and re-opened and I will abide by that recommendation."

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