Residents of St Helens grilled Island Roads representatives over the replacement of two key footbridges on the Causeway last night (Wednesday).
A new track-based technique is being used by the Highways PFI contractor to replace the footbridges, which have deteriorated over time and are showing signs of corrosion and timber rot.
The Causeway will be closed for three weeks from 10th September for the work to take place. The replacement bridges are currently in the process of being shipped to the Island.
Anger from residents
However, angry residents questioned project manager, Joanne Huett, and structures manager, Ian Hodson, over the plan — asking why the work was taking place at the start of the academic year.
The project has been timed outside the main holiday season, but also to comply with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) licence, which states work must be completed by October.
One resident said:
“We did not have any choice. It will go ahead regardless and we don’t have any choice. I think that’s unacceptable — this is a fait accompli.”
Huett: Should be finished on time
Ms Huett said:
“We are aware that you have been inconvenienced.
“However, I have the highest faith in the team that the work will be completed on time — the bridges come pre-assembled.”
Hodson: “Closure should cause minimal disruption”
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Hodson said:
“The questions were anticipated. We are here to explain what we are doing and why we are doing it.
“The steelwork and supports underneath the bridge need replacing. If we could just repaint the underneath we would, but it’s not economically viable.
“We want to cause minimal inconvenience to everyone in the village and the closure should cause minimal disruption.”
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed