WORK ON THE TEMPORARY BRIDGE AT SUTTON WEAVER BEGINS SHORTLY
Whilst the navigation will remain open throughout the works, from mid July until late summer 2014, it will not be possible to swing either the temporary or the existing bridge. Consequently waterborne craft with an air draft exceeding 2.2m will not be able to pass beneath either of the bridges.
The £4.5 million restoration of Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge in Frodsham begins on 24 June.
That is when engineers will start building the temporary bridge which will take traffic from early September, allowing the refurbishment of the 1924 structure to go ahead.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is contributing £3.5 million and the Canal and River Trust £1 million for the work which includes maintaining the bridge’s current carrying capacity of 40 tonnes.
A full replacement of the bridge deck and pedestrian walkways will be carried out, as well as a repaint to restore its appearance and to protect the bridge fabric.
The work will be completed by autumn 2014 and this will increase the life expectancy by a minimum of 50 years. The bridge is crucial to the 20,000 vehicles that use the bridge each day.
Later this month foundations for the temporary bridge will be laid and road alignment work undertaken.
Executive Member for Community and Environment, and also Frodsham Councillor Lynn Riley said: “There are now only weeks to go before work begins on this long-awaited scheme which will be a tremendous relief for local people.
““For the first two months preparatory work will be undertaken for the temporary bridge which will be built in pieces across the river. It is hoped it will be in use early September.”
Fellow Frodsham Councillor Andrew Dawson said: “Once the temporary bridge is in place there will be a diversion route. Careful planning has been carried out to try to keep disruption for bridge users as minimal as possible.
“It is most likely that the refurbished bridge will be repainted black and white.”
Added Kingsley Councillor Ralph Oultram, whose ward includes Sutton Weaver: “This project is very important for local people and businesses, and the aim of the diversion route, once in place, is to minimise the impact as much as possible.
“During the building of the temporary bridge there may be temporary lights at times for safety reasons. If required, the traffic restrictions will take place at off-peak times.”
Andy Johnson, Project Manager for the Canal & River Trust said: “We’re delighted to be starting this work. The project will mean that the 90-year old bridge is restored to its former glory and remains safe for the thousands of vehicles who use this vital bridge everyday.”
When the temporary bridge is in place, traffic from Frodsham will not be able to make a right turn on Clifton Road. Traffic will follow a short diversion around Clifton Roundabout before coming back along Clifton Road to join Chester Road.