A KEY route into the city centre will be shut for vital repairs, just days after extensive roadworks nearby were completed.
Hoole Road Bridge will close for three days and traffic leaving the city will be diverted for a further three weeks due to repainting.
Network Rail are closing the Hoole Road Bridge at 7pm on Friday, March 21, and will reopen the road again as a one way road at 6am on Monday, March 24.
During the full bridge closure, Cheshire West and Chester Council will be resurfacing the Brook Street Junction.
For the three days the road is closed traffic signs will be diverting motorists to the A51 Boughton and the A5116 Liverpool Road. When the road reopens on March 24 motorists heading out of the city will unable to cross the bridge.
Drivers looking to access the city centre from the east of the city will be facing lengthy diversions and possible delays during the three day closure but Network Rail, in collaboration with Cheshire West and Chester Council, opted to use the weekend to try and limit any problems for commuters.
For the duration of the one lane closure, bus routes out of the city will be affected.
The Stagecoach 53 bus will be running down Liverpool Road, Brook Lane and into Newtown Lane. Arriva’s 21 service to Runcorn and X30 to Warrington will use Liverpool Road, into Brook Lane and Newtown Lane before heading onto Hoole Road.
Network Rail made the decision to close the bridge to repaint it in order to protect it against the weather. As the work was already ongoing CWaC decided to use the opportunity to do repairs on drainage and streetlights.
The Hoole Bridge will also be closed on Monday, April 7 as Network Rail will be removing the traffic management systems to prepare Hoole Road to be re-opened as a two-lane road on Tuesday, April 8.
Pedestrians will be able to use the bridge for the duration of the works and the trains will run as normal.
A spokesman for Network Rail said the company apologised for any inconvenience caused.
The announcement of the bridge closure and one-way system comes after an extensive repair scheme on nearby St Martin’s Way, part of the city’s one-way system, was completed.
Work to replace the road joints on the viaduct which carries St Martin’s Way were completed four weeks ahead of schedule.
The contraflow has been removed and electronic notice boards are displaying the message that the work has been completed early.
It was thought the council-funded scheme would take highways maintenance contractor Ringway and its subcontractor USL Bridgecare six weeks to complete.
However work was undertaken seven days a week to reduce the disruption for drivers.
The old steel-plated road joints had not been removed for more than 30 years and there were some concerns regarding the likely condition of the concrete below.
However, the concrete was found to be in very good condition allowing a straight forward installation of the new road joints.