Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Sunday, 14 February 2010

Fire-damaged road bridge closed in Milton Keynes

The Centre MK
The affected area is near to The Centre MK shopping precinct

A road bridge in Milton Keynes has been closed to traffic and more shopping areas have been fenced off after damage caused by a fire worsened.

Secklow Gate crosses the town's market near Midsummer Arcade, where a fire broke out on a stall on 28 January.

New cracks were recently found in the bridge during daily inspections by Milton Keynes Council.

"Major" building works are needed and the bridge will be closed for several months, a council spokesman said.

Shoppers diverted

The Midsummer Arcade next to the market has been cordoned off and Secklow Gate is closed to traffic from the junction with Silbury Boulevard and Midsummer Boulevard.

"As a precautionary measure it was decided to close off more areas of the market and extend the safety zone into The Centre MK," he added.

Shoppers are being diverted through TK Maxx and BHS or out through the open market.

Further checks are due to take place in preparation for supporting props to be put in place.

"It is anticipated that this initial work should be complete within the next two weeks and normal access will resume to the affected shopping areas," the spokesman said.

"A full structural assessment will take place over the coming weeks and Secklow Gate is not expected to open to traffic for some months."



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