Brace yourselves – Brook Lane bridge over the railway line in Newton is about to close again as work resumes to replace the aging structure.
The first phase closure, between September 19 and early November, caused gridlock in Chester as the site was prepared.
So it seems likely the second phase, between next Tuesday (January 3) and May 8, 2017, will mean it is not a happy New Year for motorists, especially during the rush-hour.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s official diversion recommends traffic uses the A5116 Liverpool Road, A41 Long Lane and Greenfield Lane and Plas Newton Lane.
But one of the major bottle necks created by the disruption is at Mill Lane, Bache – an alternative route for crossing the city – but where the carriageway becomes one-way only as it goes under the railway bridge.
Social media proved a busy forum for motorists to vent their spleen last time.
Chester businessman Adam Dandy wrote on Twitter: “Just shows how important that bridge is on Brook Lane, the whole city has ground to a halt.”
And Stagecoach buses responded to exasperated customers complaining about buses not running to schedule.
The company said on Twitter: “Apologies for this. Brook Lane bridge is now closed and there is only one main road to the city and all traffic is using this road.”
However, a couple of contributors to the debate did find reasons to be cheerful.
Robin Crimes wrote on social media: “On the plus side it’s a lot easier for me coming out of the junction of Dicksons Drive, Brook Lane.”
Independent family-run cycle shop Big Bills Bikes, in Ellesmere Port, was delighted after it was confirmed the footpath-cycleway, adjacent to the Brook Lane bridge, would remain open for the duration of the works.
Network Rail is replacing the aging bridge to ensure it is safe and reliable in future.
The site has now been reconfigured so that a giant mobile crane can move into place to remove the old bridge and swing the new version into place.
Project manager Martin Bell said: “This work is part of our Railway Upgrade Plan which will provide a better and more reliable railway for Britain. We recognise the work to install this new bridge will cause some disruption and thank people in advance for their patience.
“The bridge is coming to the end of its useful, safe life and to ensure the railway and road bridge continue to be safe and reliable, we have to replace it.”