Itchen Navigation bridge at Bishopstoke open in time for Christmas
Monday, 16 December 2013
For those looking for a festive walk, the Itchen Navigation at Bishopstoke will once again be available thanks to Hampshire County Council and a local landowner.
The crossing on the north east side of the Itchen Navigation Canal near Bishopstoke will be re-opened by Christmas after the completion of work to replace the bridge.
The structure was in danger of collapse in July after it had been the subject of repeated acts of vandalism and had suffered wear and tear over the years resulting in its poor condition.
While the work was carried out the closure of the footpath was required to ensure the safety of the public.
Hampshire County Council were pleased to accept the donation of a metal bridge from a local landowner.
Since July detailed work has been carried out on the design, the bridge's abutments and its installation to ensure the bridge was safely installed and ready to meet the level of anticipated use on this busy and popular walking route.
Despite being hampered in recent months by fallen trees and flooding of the site, caused by the winter storms, work has pressed on and the bridge is now ready for people to use.
Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Keith Chapman, said: "Work to get this bridge along the Itchen Navigation at Bishopstoke has been a high priority for our Countryside team. Hampshire County Council staff have worked hard through difficult conditions this autumn to ensure the public can once again safely access and enjoy this route. While work was being done it was necessary to close the footpath for safety reasons and we appreciate public's patience to date and their continued co-operation. We fully acknowledge the importance of this route both locally and for its wider links to Winchester."