A VITAL bridge link to Southampton is to be shut later this month as “essential” maintenance is carried out.

From December 17, Itchen Bridge will be closed so expansion joints can be replaced.

It is set to take place overnight, from 8pm to 6am, for two night.

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Southampton City Council says: “To minimise disruption, some initial work on each joint will be carried out under temporary traffic signals which will enable us to maintain access from 8pm to 10pm.

“From 10pm to 6am the bridge will be closed to install the full width expansion joints.”

An overnight diversion route will be signposted via Peartree Avenue, Bitterne Road West and Northam Bridge.

The timing is to avoid peak evening periods and football matches, a council spokesperson added.

The work is weather dependent and dates will be displayed on advance warning signs closer to the time.