NORTH Somerset Council has agreed on plans to demolish and replace a historic bridge in Weston.

Work on the Winterstoke Road Bridge, which is owned by the MOD, is due to start in 2025.

The leader of the council, Cllr Mike Bell, said: "At a meeting last week, North Somerset Council agreed the next steps in the long and complex project to demolish and replace the Winterstoke Road Bridge in Weston.

"The bridge was built in World War Two to access a nearby factory and is owned by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

"The bridge is now in need of replacement and as part of a deal between the MOD and North Somerset Council, the bridge will be demolished and replaced.

"As the bridge not only carries a busy road but crosses the railway line, this is a major project.

"Work probably won't start on site until late 2025 due to the planning restraints and need to restrict the impact on the rail network.

"The project will cost around £20 million with almost all of that being provided by the Ministry of Defence, North Somerset Council will provide around £450,000 to support improvements to pedestrian and cycling routes as part of the rebuild.

"This project will have cause significant disruption to the road network so requires careful planning and the council will engage with residents and businesses to try to mitigate the impact as much as possible before construction goes ahead."

North Somerset Council's website explains further: "Winterstoke Road is a vital route within Weston, with many local businesses and communities relying on the route for access. It also previously acted as an emergency diversion route for the M5.

"Given the importance of the bridge, the Ministry of Defence (who own the bridge) have allocated funding to us to design and build a replacement that will better serve the area.

"At April's meeting of the executive, members agreed to delegate authority to award the detailed design and build contract for Winterstoke Road Bridge to councillor Mike Bell, leader of North Somerset and executive member for major projects.

"We hope to be in a position to announce a contractor to take on detailed design and construction later in the summer, with the detailed design work starting shortly afterward.

"Construction of the replacement Winterstoke Road Bridge is expected to begin in 2025. We will share more details when we can.