The signs are looking good that a replacement bridge over the railway line will open ahead of schedule much to the relief of Chester residents and commuters.
Aging Brook Lane bridge in Newton had to be replaced but the work has caused months of traffic disruption.
The initial plan was for the bridge to reopen on Monday, May 8, just before the busy May races meeting begins on the Wednesday.
But workers on the ground indicate the bridge and roadway is likely to be back open again from 2pm on Friday (May 5).
Network Rail spokeswoman Rachel Groves said: “We are looking at the possibility of opening on Friday but the decision won’t be made until tomorrow (Thursday, May 4).”
Brook Lane is a key cross-city route so its closure has made getting around Chester more difficult with displaced traffic causing problems during peak times at the Mill Lane bottleneck near Morrisons where the road becomes one-way only.
The new bridge is future-proofed so that it can take overhead electric cables to power the trains that run below if the electrified third rail is ever replaced.
Network Rail has carried out the work in two phases.
The site was prepared between September and early November last year with the work completed three weeks ahead of schedule.
And the second phase, which began on January 3, was to remove the aging structure and lift the new bridge into place using giant cranes. Resurfacing took place last week and the white lining took place on Wednesday of this week.
Originally the bridge was due to reopen in June but the timetable was moved forward to accommodate the Boodles May Festival (May 10-12) when traffic in the city is heavier than normal.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “The bridge will last for more than 100 years and need minimal maintenance, meaning less disruption to the local community and the railway. Local people are thanked for their patience while we carry out this vital work as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.”