The A127 is set to close for two nights in Southend this weekend to allow for the removal of a footbridge at the Bell junction.

Additional A127 maintenance work will also be carried out over this weekend to minimise disruption from the closures on the stretch between the Tesco roundabout and Manners Way.

The £5million Bell junction upgrade project, which is funded with £4.3million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, will see a number of changes to the layout of the junction to improve traffic flow on the A127.

Part of the improvement work will see the existing footbridge removed as it fails to meet existing disability discrimination legislation because of the stepped ramps, and removal allows room for the new dedicated lane onto Rochford Road and new pedestrian island on Hobleythick Lane.

To allow the safe removal of the footbridge, overnight road closures, in both Southend and London bound directions will be in place from 8pm – 6.30am Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 20.

These works are subject to weather conditions, and if necessary, a further overnight closure may be required on Sunday, September 20. Vehicle access will be provided to residents and businesses during this closure.

The Bell Junction will also be closed with no access from Rochford Road or Hobleythick Lane. The north end of Hobleythick Lane will also be closed.

Ron Woodley, councillor responsible for transport, inward and capital investment, said: “The removal of the footbridge is a key milestone in the project.

"It’s removal will allow a pedestrian island to be built on Hobleythick Lane and later on in the works be able to construct the dedicated left-hand turn onto Rochford Road, which is a key element of the project to keep traffic moving at the junction and therefore improve air quality.

“We have timed the removal of the footbridge so that it coincides with other essential maintenance which needs to be carried out further along the A127.

"By carrying out both sets of works over the same weekend we are able to minimise disruption of traffic in and out of the town.

Mr Woodley added: “I am pleased to see that collaborative work between highways officers, Eurovia and the utility companies has enabled us to get to this stage, and I hope we can continue in this vein for the remainder of the project.”

All lane closures will be signposted, including appropriate diversions. Access to Denton Approach from Prince Avenue has been blocked off whilst works are carried out.