Chester's 'bridge to nowhere' re-opens

Published date: 30 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
Read more articles by Staff reporter

A CITY centre footbridge which was closed for more than a year after a landslide has finally
re-opened following extensive repair work.

The Roodee footbridge, which was dubbed as the ‘bridge to nowhere’, links Curzon Park with the Riverside Path around Chester Racecourse.

It was supposed to be completed in January this year, but only re-opened this week after a landslide in January damaged the bridge’s foundations.
The initial work was carried out by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) to replace the cantilevered footway and staircase but the embankment and ramped path on the Curzon Park side of the river suffered an embankment slip, which caused damage to a section of the bridge and part of the path.

The added repair work significantly increased the repair time of the £1.5million project, as Network Rail took over the project as the footbridge is next to a railway bridge which also suffered damage and they could only carry out work during weekend railway closures.

The length of the delay caused angry protests from cyclists who branded the route as a “bridge to nowhere”.
Stephen Perry, secretary of Chester Cycling Campaign, said at the time the length of closure was “unacceptable”. He said: “First it was the time taken to renew the steps and footbridge and now following a landslip months ago there seems to be no sense of urgency to get the job done.
“Considerable public money has gone into the bridge renewal but at the moment the public are not seeing any rewards.”

Chester Cycling Campaign said the footbridge was a public right of way and popular with walkers and cyclists going between Westminster Park, Saltney and Lache and the city centre and Sealand Road.

Mr Perry said the route was much safer than other available routes, which added an extra mile to journeys.

Councillor Lynn Riley, executive member for localities said: “We would like to apologise for the delay in reopening this footway which has been closed a long time, but working close to a live railway line was always going to be difficult.

“It is good to see the old footbridge replaced and the repairs carried out. Now once again people can enjoy using this popular route.
”I would like to thank Network Rail who assisted the Council in completing all of these works.”Councillor Razia Daniels, Councillor Alex Tate, Councillor Neil Sullivan, Alistair Jack and Brian Bentley from Curzon Park Residents Association, Guy Balmer, Council Bridges Engineer, Paul Tudor, Council Bridges Manager and sub contractor Wayne Ashley.

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