WORKERS are now on-site at the Big Lock footbridge ahead of it being lifted off for repairs.

The Grade II-listed structure, over the Trent and Mersey Canal in Middlewich, has deteriorated in recent years.

Kier workers have been at the site since Monday and are expected to be there until Tuesday, June 16, to arrange the complex job of lifting the bridge off-site for repairs.

The Big Lock footbridge was closed last February after it was deemed unsafe for pedestrians.

A temporary footbridge was installed last autumn, following pressure from residents who signed a petition calling on the Canal and River Trust to repair the bridge.

The Canal and River Trust hopes the restored bridge will be ready to return to its place next year.

A spokesman for the trust said: “For the first phase of the restoration project, Big Lock footbridge will be removed and taken to a specialist factory to be grit blasted – this will allow a thorough inspection and design for restoration.

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"A specialist cradle is being fabricated to ensure the footbridge is lifted safely. During these works the canal and towpath will remain open, however there will be occasional restrictions, for up to two hours, to ensure public safety.”

The trust added that workers on-site at the Big Lock footbridge will be working safely and observing social distancing guidelines.