A BUSY bridge over the A338 Spur Road will be closed for essential maintenance.

The flyover at Matchams will be closed to motor vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders for two weeks in March.

But there will also be four weeks of disruption with traffic lights in place before the closure.

Work is set to begin on Monday February 1 and delays are expected.

Diversions will be put in place during the bridge closure.

A spokesman for Dorset Council said: “Essential maintenance work will start next month on Christchurch Road Bridge, a busy route used by local drivers and commuters to cross over the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road.

“Two-way temporary traffic lights will be in place for four weeks from Monday February 1 to Friday February 26 while Dorset Highways casts reinforced concrete support beams in preparation for jacking the bridge up.

“The bridge will then be closed for two weeks – from Monday March 1 to Friday March12 – while its bearings are replaced. During this time, the bridge will be jacked-up so engineers can access and replace the bridge bearings.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment said: “We’ve scheduled this work during what is traditionally a quieter time of year on our roads to try and minimise the disruption caused. Please plan your journey ahead and allow some extra time to reach your destination.”

During the road closure there will be a signed diversion route for drivers taking them from Hurn onto Boundary Lane - A31 - B3081 - Hurn Lane - Hurn Road.

While the bearings are being replaced, there will also be no access across the bridge for cyclists, pedestrians or horse-riders.