Local residents and business owners were delighted to see that the main road has now reopened following the completion of safety improvements to the railway bridge.
The section of Wilmslow Road from Heyes Lane to Ryleys Lane has been closed since Monday 6th August to enable works to be carried out to improve the safety of the road on the south west side of the bridge. This included the installation of a Titan kerb system, which is designed to prevent cars coming off the carriageway in vulnerable areas, along with metal barrier railings. The road was also resurfaced over the weekend.
It was initially due to reopen on the Sunday 19th August, but was delayed because engineers discovered a cavity running under the footpath.
Councillor Craig Browne said "I am delighted that the works to the footpath and road surface have been completed and that the bridge is now fully open to traffic and pedestrians once more. I realise that the extended closure has been a source of frustration to many businesses and residents, but the issues we experienced were outside CE Highways' control and involved three different utilities companies, plus Network Rail, all taking responsibility at different points during the closure.
"We should count ourselves fortunate that these issues were identified whilst the road was closed, rather than the alternative, which does not bear thinking about. We now have a footpath which is much safer, as well as a fantastic new road surface, which is about to be replicated on Heyes Lane."
Many businesses suffered a drop in footfall during the road closure, including the Texaco sevice station on Wilmslow Road.
Stephen Higham said "Thank goodness the road is now open, five weeks is a long time to have the road shut outside a premises that relies on passing traffic. Some weeks our fuel volume was down 25 per cent due to the council diverting traffic onto the bypass."
Additionally, during the first two weeks of August Waitrose saw the first decline in customers versus last year and a 15% reduction in footfall versus a normal week.
Frank Young, Branch Manager at Waitrose, said "Business challenges remained until the last day however for me to be able to see any further impact such as change of shopping habits, customer migration etc then I need to monitor branch activity over the next 2 to 3 weeks.
"As today is only day one I can say that it is great to see it fully open this morning and resurfaced, so I think the CE Highways have obviously worked really hard to finish it as quick as they could after the disruption with other Utility companies."