Chester’s historic Northgate Steps have officially reopened to the public, just in time for the Christmas holidays.

Complex repairs to the steps were completed in September but they were not reopened as further investigations were needed. These have now been completed and some temporary repairs carried out on the City Walls at this location.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “This has been a long, complex and challenging project, involving the recording of archaeological finds and ongoing liaison with Historic England, as well the difficulties involved in carrying out heavy civil engineering work is a very tight site, close to residents’ homes.

“Because of the COVID pandemic, we couldn’t mark this occasion with a large celebration. So I would like to thank all the residents, businesses and contractors who were involved or affected by this project.”

The temporary repairs to the city walls at this location will need further work in the future, but this will take place after the completion of the ongoing Northgate development and ‘Clockwise’ traffic management scheme.

Nearby Water Tower Road will also reopen to traffic during the week beginning 14 December once the scaffolding on the site is taken down.

Work to install an illuminated rail on the new outer handrail will mean the Northgate Steps will need to close briefly in January 2021, and a temporary timber one will be in place until then. This work is scheduled to take around two days.

A short video showing the completed Steps is now on the Council’s YouTube channel:

A video showcasing the complex project can also be viewed on the Council’s YouTube channel:

The only outstanding closure on the city walls is now at Bridgegate Bridge, located at the end of Lower Bridge Street, which was closed for safety reasons.

Propping will take place on this section in mid-January 2021. Current plans are that scaffolding will be erected during the week beginning 4 January, 2021 and will take around two weeks to install.

To allow the work to take place and minimise disruption to traffic, an evening road closure will be needed on Lower Bridge Street, between Castle Drive and Shipgate Street, from Monday, 11 to Friday, 15 January between the hours of 7pm and 10.30pm. The diversion route will be via Old Dee Bridge, Handbridge, Overleigh Road, Grosvenor Road, Grosvenor Street and Lower Bridge Street.

This action will enable this section of the City Walls to reopen, while plans are developed to permanently resolve the issues with Bridgegate Bridge.

Visit the Council’s website for updates: