Chain Bridge set to re-open this evening

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The Chain Bridge, on West End Road, is set to reopen today (Friday) - but not until sometime after 5pm, the council has confirmed.

A council spokesman confirmed that the estimated opening time was due to some work still to be completed today before the structure - not to be confused with the nearby pub of the same name - could reopen.

Work on the bridge began back in July, and was originally estimated to have been finished by Friday, September 1.

However, the repairs were twice delayed, firstly to the end of September and then to ‘early November’, after workers discovered more deterioration of the bridge than originally expected.

At the time of the first delay, Andy Antcliff, senior bridge engineer, said: “We’re continuing to find significant amounts of defective concrete that need to be removed and replaced. It’s imperative that we get this done before reopening the road.

“Most of the repair works are underneath the bridge, so although it appears that the concrete deck is almost ready for the new surfacing that can’t be done until the deck and beams are back up to full strength.

“We apologise for the further disruption this will cause to motorists, and thank drivers for their ongoing patience while the team complete the works.”

He later added: “The bridge was inspected prior to the repairs and areas of defective concrete were identified. However, as we’ve stripped away the outer layers, it’s become apparent that the deterioration was more widespread than first thought.”

The news will be a relief to both commuters and those who need to access the road to access properties as traffic has in the mean time been forced to go via the A52 Swineshead Road, B1192 Holmes Lane, B1391 Ralphs Lane, B1397 London Road and West End Road, and vice versa.

Access was maintained for pedestrians and cyclists.