March town centre footbridge faced with permanent closure set to receive £100,000 worth of essential works

PUBLISHED: 15:48 13 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:48 13 November 2015

The footbridge linking March High Street to the library and West End Park is set to receive essential repair works. Picture: Steve Williams.

The footbridge linking March High Street to the library and West End Park is set to receive essential repair works. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

A footbridge in the centre of March that faced permanent closure is due to receive essential works next week, says Fenland District Council.

The footbridge linking March High Street to the library and West End Park is set to receive essential repair works. Picture: Steve Williams.The footbridge linking March High Street to the library and West End Park is set to receive essential repair works. Picture: Steve Williams.

The bridge, that links High Street with the library and West End Park, is to receive £100,000 worth of repairs starting on Wednesday November 18.

The construction work is expected to take about two months, with mid-January as the projected completion date.

The footbridge will be closed throughout that period.

The work will be carried out by Drake Towage of Wisbech, a marine engineering company, using a pontoon barge to work from the river.

Previously, the bridge had been in danger of permanent closure because of lack of funds available to carry out the repairs that engineers had deemed essential for safety reasons.

But following further investigations, an alternative approach - tackling the job from the river – has been identified that means that the work can be done within the available budget.

All the designs, consents and funding were finally agreed this week, enabling Drake Towage to start work on Wednesday.

Fenland District Council leader Cllr John Clark said: “The condition of this bridge has caused us concern for a while now and although closure was one of the options, we always understood the importance of this route and looked at all possible ways of keeping it open. So I’m delighted that an affordable solution has been found and that work will start very soon.”

The funds to repair the town’s footbridge were found through a joint funding approach between Fenland District Council and Snowmountain Enterprises, which owns part of the footbridge.

While the work is in progress, the public will need to use Acre Road or other routes to access the library, George Campbell Centre and West End Park.

The rear access to the card shop Greetings will also be closed throughout the construction period but customers will be able to continue to use the High Street entrance.

Navigation of the river will still be possible, although the stretch by the bridge will inevitably be narrower.

The moorings in the vicinity where the works are taking place will be closed but those on the east side of the Town Bridge opposite the town hall will remain open.

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