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Pandemic delays Abbey-Chesterton bridge installation




The Abbey-Chesterton bridge will be built beside the railway bridge over the river Cam. Picture: Mike Scialom
The Abbey-Chesterton bridge will be built beside the railway bridge over the river Cam. Picture: Mike Scialom

The Abbey-Chesterton bridge over the River Cam – a key link in the Chisholm Trail plan to open up access for cyclists and pedestrians between Cambridge and surrounding villages – is now due to be installed on October 25 following “sub-contractor issues and Covid-19”.

The Chisholm Trail bridge and path, a joint project funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), was due to open later this month.

A county council spokesperson said: “The Abbey-Chesterton bridge lift has been delayed due to sub-contractor issues and Covid-19, and is now scheduled to be lifted into place this autumn. This does not affect the delivery of this project and the first phase of the Chisholm Trail to Newmarket Road is still on track to open as scheduled in autumn 2021.”

Alex Bedford, the Chisholm Trail project manager at Tarmac Infrastructure, said of the arrangement for installing the three sections of the bridge : “The cycling and pedestrian bridge installation will now take place on October 25,” he told the Cambridge Independent. “The jetty link will be in place on Monday (August 24), it will be open in autumn this year - bear in mind that the end of the autumn is taken to be December 21.”

Segments of the jetty beside the river Cam. Picture: Mike Scialom
Segments of the jetty beside the river Cam. Picture: Mike Scialom

The jetty path is being constructed along the Cam to link the towpath from Fen Ditton to the centre of Cambridge. The delay for the opening of this pedestrian/cycling link is due to issues with social distancing compliance on the jetty.

A spokesperson for the GCP said: “Work has continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic on the Chisholm Trail, but the need to incorporate government guidance for social distancing and supply chain issues have undoubtedly caused some delay, and so the path connecting Ditton Meadows and Stourbridge Common is now due to open in autumn 2020.

“We are committed to improving cycling infrastructure in Cambridgeshire and are working to bring this key route to those who want to resume walking and cycling in the area.”

By the time it opens the path will have been closed for 16 months . Access into town means going via the Newmarket Road or using the railway bridge which is set back 200 yards from the river.



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