Message from Ward Cllr. Lyn Gibbon
I thought this would be of interest to your Councillors and residents.
The £1.5 million repair project on target to complete by July. Trial swings of Acton Swing Bridge have been carried out as part of vital repairs to the busy 84-year-old road bridge which carries the A49 trunk road over the River Weaver Navigation in Cheshire. The refurbishment will help to safeguard the future use of the bridge by thousands of motorists. Work began on 23 January 2017 and is on target to be completed by July.
The work has been arranged by the Canal & River Trust, which cares for the River Weaver and 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, and is being funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council. The work involves a complete refurbishment of the bridge deck, including strengthening to its underside, as well as improvements to the bridge appearance. Also part of the work is the ongoing maintenance and replacement of 141 cast iron rollers which enable the bridge to swing. In a recent test movement, local residents may have heard a clanging noise as one of the old rollers failed.
Richard Spencer, project manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “The bridge does not need all the rollers to be operational. A new roller will be installed very soon and this can be done without closing the bridge to traffic. “Monitoring the condition of the rollers is a constant challenge and on average we replace about four a year at a cost of £4,000 each. As part of the project, we will have the chance to carry out a thorough assessment of the condition of each roller and prioritise future replacements.”
The Council’s Director of Place Operators, Maria Byrne, added: “The good news is that the current repair work involves replacing the road surface and foundations with lighter material which will have the beneficial effect of placing less strain on the rollers in the future.”
To keep the bridge open to traffic, the deck work has been replaced in two phases to allow a single lane carriageway, controlled by traffic lights, to remain open. The first half has now been completed and work is progressing well on the second section, keeping the project on track for a July completion. About 15,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge. The towpath underneath the bridge and the pedestrian walkway over the bridge continue to remain open as far as is reasonably practicable.
· For emergency out of hours enquiries, please contact the Canal & River Trust free phone number on 0800 47 999 47.
· For out of hours enquiries, please contact Cheshire West and Chester Council on 0300 123 7036.
Conservative Cllr for Marbury Ward