NEWS that roadworks to the Central Bridge in Southampton are to be extended for another six weeks will send many drivers round the bend.

Just as there appeared to be some light at the end of a long tunnel engineers have discovered the bridge to be in worse condition than originally thought.

The structure has already been closed since March, causing misery for motorists, residents, commuters and visitors alike.

Now it is likely to be the middle of November before the traffic can flow unhindered again into the city.

Workers are replacing a failing waterproof layer on the 130-year-old brick structure as part of a £1.6m project.

City transport boss Jacqui Rayment said the extension of the closure could not have been foreseen as changes to the bridge over the decades had not been documented and had thrown up some challenges for engineers.

These works are one of a number of initiatives across the city to manage and improve ‘pinch points’ on the highway network. Some of the others are improvements to Millbrook and Redbridge flyovers, Northam Bridge and the Western Approach Rail Bridge.

Let’s hope all the upheaval and delays will be worth it in the end when we have a road system fit for the 21st century.