WORK to renovate and replace Worcester’s main pedestrian bridge over the River Severn is set to be completed this month.

Worcestershire County Council confirmed the work to renovate Sabrina Bridge is expected to be completed in “the next few weeks” though did not give an exact date for the project’s completion.

During its refurbishment, the main span of the bridge has been removed and replaced with a new composite deck, designed to perform better in the winter months.

Originally built in 1992 by Worcester City Council, the bridge is being fully refurbished for the first time, though regular maintenance work has been carried out over the decades since.

The major refurbishment of the bridge forms an important part of Worcestershire County Council’s programme of works to improve walking and cycling routes in and around the city.

READ MORE: Court Results - 'Gangsta' bike thief sentenced for Worcester offences

The bridge was adopted by Worcestershire County Council in 1993 and maintenance has taken place regularly over the years including the replacement of sections of wooden decking.

Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, Councillor Alan Amos, said: “The major refurbishment taking place on Sabrina Bridge includes a complete replacement of the steel for the bridge span, a brand-new composite deck which will perform better and have increased longevity, the repainting of the handrails, ramps, stairs and main mast and increased handrail height for added safety. We’re working hard to get this important and complex scheme open before Christmas.”

To allow for the refurbishment to take place, the main span of the bridge was removed in sections using specialist cranes in mid-October. The main span was then moved off site so the refurbishment works could take place. While the main span is away from site, other works to the ramps and stairs are being completed.

Once the offsite refurbishment is completed, the cranes will return and the main span will be carefully lifted back into place, section by section.

READ MORE: Recruitment firm signs deal to provide rugby kit to Dyson Perrins school team

According to the county council, the main span of the newly refurbished bridge will have a design life of 120 years, although some individual components may need to be replaced earlier as part of the asset’s maintenance programme.

They said ideally the refurbishment work would have taken place over the summer but this was not possible due to a number of factors including the Covid-19 outbreak and the availability of specialist steel.

Both bridges aim to enhance links along the riverside, so users could complete a ’figure of 8’ circuit using the proposed Kepax Walking and Cycling Bridge, newly refurbished Sabrina Bridge and Diglis Bridge which has proved a huge success since its opening in 2010.

While the bridge is due to re-open later this month, this is subject to weather conditions and any impact of Covid-19.

Landscaping and other finishing touches are planned for completion early in the new year.