A footbridge over the M5 motorway near Patchway is to be replaced, necessitating the lengthy diversion of a public footpath.
The Pegwell Brake footbridge (also known as the Banana or Rainbow footbridge), provides a link between Patchway and the village of Over. It carries a public footpath that runs from the back of houses in Park Leaze, Patchway, down through woods on the Almondsbury escarpment before emerging onto Over Lane.
The bridge is being replaced as part of the £89 million M4/M5 Managed Motorways project that will see hard shoulder running introduced at peak times on the M4 (between the top of the M32 and the Almondsbury Interchange) and the M5 (between Cribbs Causeway and the Almondsbury Interchange) from early 2013.
In order to provide the necessary height clearance for lorries to be able to use the hard shoulder, it is necessary to remove the existing curved bridge and put in place a new one.
To try to limit the inconvenience to users of the public right of way, the removal and installation works have been delayed until the autumn/winter rather than the summer months.
From Monday 1st October 2012, until what is hoped will be just before Christmas, the bridge will be closed, with the removal undertaken later in October.
Contractor firm Balfour Beatty says there will be a signed diversion route in place, which it warns will be significantly longer than the stretch of footpath being temporarily closed.
Queries about the closure should be directed to Balfour Beatty’s community relations team on 0800 432 0918.