MOTORISTS face nine months of disruption on the A556 while Vale Royal Locks are repaired.

Rebuilding the bullnose of Vale Royal small lock was due to begin on Monday, with completion scheduled for October.

One lane of the A556 close to the blue bridge at Hartford will be closed during weekdays.

Neil Rice, British Waterways Wales and Border Counties project manager, said the project will restore full navigational capacity along the River Weaver to the picturesque Winsford Flashes.

He said: “The project will involve de-watering the section around the locks, before removing the masonry using a floating crane.

“New foundations will then be laid and the main structure rebuilt using the original stonework and masonry.”

A traffic management system allowing safe access to the site off the A556 has been agreed with police and Cheshire County Council.

The nearside lane of the Chester bound carriageway will be closed on its approach to the site, allowing large vehicles to turn safely into the compound. The restrictions will be lifted at weekends and on Bank Holidays.

Work on the project was suspended last year when a major breach occurred on another waterway, requiring the emergency diversion of funds and resources.

The small lock closed to river traffic in 2003 after a section of pier head masonry wall fell into the River Weaver downstream from the locks on the navigation between Northwich and Winsford.

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