17 February 2020
Council officers are working to solve a number of engineering challenges before work can begin to prop the collapsed section of city wall in Chester.
A full review is underway and work is taking place to assess the damaged structure and its surrounding area near Newgate Street.
The Council is committed to ensuring the site and the remains of the wall are secure so that rebuilding work can take place safely in the future, whilst maintaining public safety and ensuring nearby archaeological features are protected.
A diversion route has been set up to guide pedestrians who choose to walk the circuit of the ancient walls. It follows St John Street and allows pedestrians to rejoin the walls near Eastgate clock or Newgate. An information board is currently being designed and will be installed to enable pedestrians to easily find their way around the City via the diversions route.
- Plans are being developed for supporting scaffolding to be designed and fitted to prop and secure the walls, to enable further works to be undertaken safely.
- Specialist laser scan surveys have been undertaken of the historic wall to ensure future repairs are carried out sensitively and do not disturb nearby archaeology.
- Radar survey has been carried out of the ground behind Wesley Church.
- A review is underway of the fire escape routes for all surrounding buildings to assess how they can be safely maintained for the duration of the propping and rebuilding works.
- Plans are being developed to install a monitoring system, which will give an early warning of movement on the wall and ensure the workforce is safe during propping work.
Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “There is a great deal of consideration and careful planning needed to ensure the wall and the surrounding area is protected to enable inspection, evaluation and design works to begin to restore the wall and this will continue in the weeks and months to come.
“The diversion route will ensure visitors are still able to enjoy one the city’s key landmarks while the closure is in place.
“We know how important the walls are to the city and its residents. We invest thousands every year in their maintenance. It is regretful that this incident happened but we are working to ensure it is restored in a sensitive and safe manner. Our ultimate aim is to ensure the reopening of this section of the walls for the benefit of everyone.”
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