MOTORISTS face weeks of delays and prolonged journeys in the New Forest as the main work begins on replacing a bridge.

Hampshire County Council is funding the £5.5million project at Holmsley Bridge, which carries the A35.

From tomorrow, September 1, there will be a single lane closure on the A35, which will be managed with two-way traffic lights lights. This part-road closure is due to be in place until December 17.

Meanwhile, the C10 Station Road, which runs under the bridge and links Brockenhurst and Burley, will be completely shut until October 16.

This measure will be lifted for two weeks before returning until December 17.

A diversion route for the closure of the C10 will be in place, going through Bransgore, Bashley Cross and Sway.

The Old Station Tea Rooms will remain open for business.

The new bridge will be built alongside the existing one and traffic transferred across before the 113-year-old bridge steel bridge is removed. The project will lead to around 380 metres of the A35 being realigned.

Contractor Knights Brown has been awarded the tender to carry out the work, which will continue into next year across several phases.