CHESTER’S historic Old Dee Bridge will be closed to vehicles next month to allow National Grid to carry out vital work to renew gas mains serving the city.
The work required urgently to meet Health and Safety Executive demands has been planned jointly with Cheshire County and Chester City Councils, emergency services and public transport operators.
Starting on August 11, one-third of a mile of metallic main will be renewed from Mill Street, Handbridge, over the Old Dee Bridge alongŠLower Bridge Street to its junction withŠPepper Street and Bridge Street.
The 14th century scheduled ancient monument will remain open to pedestrians but closed to all vehicles until September 1.
More than 10,000 residents and businesses in the affected areas heard about the scheme, traffic diversions and changes to bus routes via a door to door leaflet drop which started on Wednesday.
Static and variable message signs on affected routes from July 28 will warn motorists of Šnext month’s work and consequent diversions. And a web page at www.cheshire.gov.uk/roadworks will give regular updates on the scheme’s progress.
Craig Horrocks, National Grid contract manager, said: “The work has to be timed for the summer months when demand for gas is low. Engineers can then isolate sections of main and insert the new plastic pipe, avoiding the need for open excavations and turning off supplies.
“We apologise for the inconvenience our work may cause. There will be some disruption in the short term but the long- term benefit will be a continued and safe gas supply for Chester homes and businesses.”
Preliminary work, which will not affect traffic, begins on July 28 and the three-phase project is expected to take until mid-November, unless work reveals the need for archaeological surveys.Š
Eveleigh Moore-Dutton, Cheshire’s executive member for highways and transportation, said: “As with the closure of Hoole Bridge we will be working together to minimise disruption, both for our residents and visitors.”