A temporary bridge, which will carry 20,000 vehicles a day over the River Weaver in West Cheshire, is nearing completion It has been built to help the drivers who normally use Sutton Swing Bridge to get to their destinations while we're restoring the swing bridge.
Engineers are currently installing the final pieces of the temporary two-way bridge across the River Weaver. The temporary bridge, which is like a huge Meccano set, is 36 metres long, 16 metres wide and weighs around 150 tonnes.
We're working with Cheshire West and Chester Council to restore the 90 year-old bridge, which was first built to carry horses and carts.
The £4.5 million restoration will include the full replacement of the bridge deck to maintain the bridge’s current carrying capacity of 40 tonnes. The pedestrian walkways will also be refurbished, as well as a full repaint to restore its appearance and to protect the bridge structure.
Once the temporary bridge is in place engineers will connect the bridge to the existing roads. Traffic from Frodsham will not be able to make a right turn on Clifton Road and will follow a short diversion around Clifton roundabout before coming back along Clifton Road to join Chester Road.
Clive Mitchell, senior project manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “Installing this bridge is a crucial part of the project; without it, traffic would have had to follow a long diversion which would have disrupted local roads. We hope traffic will start using the temporary bridge in early September. This will then allow us to start the main works to restore Sutton Swing Bridge back to its former glory.”
Navigation through the swing bridge is now restricted and a floating working platform has been installed beneath the bridge to allow access for the repair works. A four metre width has been maintained beneath the bridge to allow narrowboats to have access past the works.
The work will be completed by autumn 2014 and will increase the life expectancy of the bridge by 50 years.