Footbridge to reopen after refurbishment

Published
02.03.2021

A footbridge in Tewkesbury that has been closed since last year will be fully refurbished this summer.

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The Swilgate footbridge, which provides pedestrian access over the River Swilgate, had to be closed in April 2020 because of structural concerns.

A period of prolonged wet weather caused its brickwork to deteriorate so it had to be closed to ensure public safety.

The listed footbridge, between Perry Hill and Howells Road, will be fully refurbished and work is due to start in June or July this year, with completion expected within a few months.

The work will include rebuilding the brick flood relief arch, steelwork repairs, painting, new anti-slip surfacing and a refurbished iron deck and has been approved by Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC).

Works cannot start before 15 June because the river is protected for spawning fish until then.

The Legion footbridge in Tewkesbury also had to be closed in April last year for public safety because of its deteriorating condition. It is a reinforced concrete structure between Lanescourt and Howells Road, connecting Priors Park and Tewkesbury.

Since its closure pedestrians have been diverted over the Link Road bridge and onto Howells Road.

Because of the nature of its defects it cannot be repaired, so the structure needs to be completely removed and replaced.

Permission to carry out the works is being sought from the Environment Agency (EA) but plans are being finalised with TBC to install a temporary footpath in the meantime.

If the EA grant approval, funding would then need to be secured to replace the structure. The county council is working with the EA and TBC to gain the necessary licences to carry out the scheme.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “We appreciate it’s been inconvenient having these footbridges closed but it was important to do so to ensure public safety. It’s great news that Swilgate will have a full refurbishment this summer and we are working closely with our partners to ensure the Legion footbridge can be removed and replaced.”

Cllr Kevin Cromwell, local councillor for Tewkesbury, said: “We would like to thank everyone for their patience while these footbridges have been closed. I’m looking forward to seeing the Swilgate footbridge reopened and I’m sure the temporary footpath will be of benefit to residents while we work on plans for the Legion footbridge.”

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