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Temporary footbridge installed ahead of Big Lock repairs

Monday, October 28th, 2019 3:42pm

By Jenny Bonson & Stephen Topping, Local Democracy Reporter @newsjenny

A temporary footpath is being installed at the Big Lock in Middlewich, ahead of a major refurbishment project next year.

The Canal and River Trust (CRT) are installing it as a replacement for the Grade II-listed bridge over the Trent and Mersey Canal, which they closed in February when it was deemed to be unsafe following an inspection.

CRT wants to remove the Big Lock before refurbishment takes place off-site next summer, and it hopes to have the bridge reinstalled for winter 2020.

Middlewich businessman Simon Lincoln launched an online petition last month calling on CRT to repair the bridge, with 555 people adding their name to it.

In a post on the change.org website on Friday (25 October) he said: “Well done everybody – through lots of persistence and our petition a temporary bridge will be installed on Monday, October 28.

“This despite comments I read saying it was a waste of time. Well we proved the doubters wrong. Persistence pays off.”

CRT says that it will repair leakage through the bottom gate cill on the Big Lock, refurbish gate planking and carry out masonry works on the forebay chamber.

A planning application for the refurbishment project has been lodged with Cheshire East Council.

In its planning statement, CRT said: “Big Lock footbridge is now in a very poor and deteriorating condition.

“Investigations carried out in March 2019 noted heavy corrosion and evidence of section loss.

“Past movement is evident as there is cracking in both abutments.

“The bridge has been closed to pedestrians due to the concrete deck dropping onto the bracing and the other defects noted above now make it unsafe to remain in use.”

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