A SIX-MONTH project to revamp the Roodee railway viaduct in Chester will mean access problems for pedestrians and cyclists who use the adjacent footbridge.
That’s because the footbridge must be included in an environmental wrap used to encapsulate the whole bridge while sand-blasting takes place to ensure neither the River Dee or land below is contaminated.
A Chester Cycling Campaign spokesman commented: “This bridge is a particularly useful link between the city centre and the southern suburbs. It is widely used by bike commuters as it is safer and more pleasant than using the busy Grosvenor Bridge.”
The spokesman added: “It would be great to be able to report that the works are going to include improvements to the cycle/pedestrian outrider, but this looks very unlikely.”
However, Network Rail says it is in negotiations with the council over the possible refurbishment of the footbridge.
NR spokesman Chris Chatfield said work on the £1.5m bridge project had to be confined to times when the railway was closed for other work to ensure no disruption to train services between Chester and North Wales.
He said: “This means we will mainly be working at weekends and occasionally overnight.
“Although the work is straightforward, this means it is going to take six months to complete.”
Contractors suspended on scaffolding beneath the bridge, will grit blast the structure, carry out repairs and strengthening work then apply a protective coating before repainting the bridge in its original grey colour.
The project has been planned to meet standards by Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Environment Agency.