Safety fears close Crook O’Lune bridge

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ONE of the pedestrian bridges at Crook O’ Lune, Halton, is to close for safety reasons.

An inspection of the eastern bridge – on the Caton side - has revealed its condition has deteriorated.

It will temporarily close on Monday March 21.

The bridge was originally constructed in the 1880s as a railway bridge and now carries the River Lune Cycleway which caters for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

The twin western bridge was refurbished in 2005, after being found to have similar problems to those identified on Crook O’ Lune (East) bridge.

In order to protect cyclists and pedestrians, an alternative route will be provided via the Caton Lune road bridge. A 30mph speed restriction, temporary traffic lights and one- way traffic will be installed on the bridge to allow the creation of a marked pedestrian area alongside the traffic.

County Coun Michael Green, cabinet member for Environment and Planning, said: “Unfortunately the inspection findings meant that we have had to close the bridge straight away for safety reasons.

“I understand that the traffic lights may mean some delays at peak times but I hope local people will bear with us as we have no alternative.”

The inspection showed the structure to be in a poor condition. Many of the timber beams are hollow and rotten and several have split extensively.

Some of the beams are starting to compress and deform due to the weight of the deck that they are supporting. Other beams appear outwardly to be sound but are actually rotting from within due to water coming in from above.

As a matter of urgency for the protection o! f the public the bridge must be temporarily closed.

Options f or the refurbishment of the bridge are being considered and further information regarding a programme of works will be communicated when it becomes available.

Crook O’ Lune (East) Bridge is a listed structure and an important part of the Crook O’ Lune recreational site and the River Lune Millennium Park.

The car park, food kiosk and picnic site adjacent to the bridge will remain open for business as usual.