A SUMMERSEAT bridge could finally be reopened ­four years after it was swept away by devastating Boxing Day floods.

Kay Street Bridge was damaged along with the neighbouring Waterside Inn when Storm Eva hit Bury, causing unprecedented flooding.

The bridge reopened to pedestrians in March 2016, but the demolition of the pub left it with no permanent barrier on the upstream side, meaning it has remained closed to traffic ever since.

Protracted negotiations with a landowner have delayed work on the rebuild and compulsory purchase order (CPO) papers were served earlier this year.

The government has now approved the CPO which Bury Council had requested in order to buy the land needed to carry out the work.

A legal timetable must now be followed before the council can give the engineers the go-ahead for construction to begin.

The council says it expects the bridge to be reconstructed and reopened in 2019.

Planning permission has already been granted for the reconstruction of the bridge, which will incorporate a new footway.