March bridge repair project to be completed
A £100,000 project to repair a well-used March footbridge was due to be completed last week.
The bridge, which links High Street with West End Park, was in danger of permanent closure.
Work has been carried out over the winter to ensure the bridge is open in advance of next month’s St George’s Fayre, when the town is packed with thousands of visitors.
Fenland District Council leader John Clark said: “We’d like to thank all local businesses, residents and users for their patience and understanding while these essential repairs have been carried out.
“We’re pleased that we succeeded in finding a way of completing the work within the available budget, otherwise we may have had to close the footbridge permanently.”
The refurbishment has been carried out by a local marine engineering contractor, Drake Towage of Wisbech, using a pontoon barge that enabled much of the work to be undertaken from the river.
Previously, the bridge had been in danger of permanent closure because there was insufficient funding to repair it using traditional construction methods.
An affordable solution was developed by council engineers, using a combination of traditional and alternative materials and methods.
The cost of the project was originally estimated at £140,000.
The use of different materials and the river-based approach has reduced this to just under £100,000.
Snowmountain Enterprises, which owns part of the footbridge, has agreed to contribute £25,000, with Fenland District Council funding the rest.
The completed scheme features new hand railings more in keeping with the local environment and a much-improved seating area.