‘It will certainly be awkward’ - Key bridge for Norwich City fans to close for two months of the season
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A footbridge providing a key route over the River Wensum to Carrow Road for Norwich City fans is to close for more than two months for essential repair works.
The Novi Sad Friendship Bridge in Norwich, which particularly well-used on Norwich City match days, is in line for £250,000 of maintenance work, which is due to get under way next month.
Preliminary work was carried out earlier this month, however, the bridge remained open to pedestrians and cyclists while this was completed.
However, on Monday, January 14 it will be closed off while repairs are carried out - which are not due to be completed until mid-March.
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the need for repairs had been identified during routine inspections on it.
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The spokesman said: 'The work will involve temporarily supporting the steel edges, making up the depth of the ramp lost due to settlement and repositions and re-fixing the steel edges.
'Once the repairs are complete the bridge will be resurfaced.'
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The £1.4m foot and cycle bridge, which was built in 2001, is one of the main crossings in the used by Norwich City fans when the Canaries play at home - which happens six times over the duration of the closure.
It is the second time fans have been left to find an alternative route to Carrow Road since the bridge was built, with a £67,000 repair work closing it for a month-and-a-half from September 2009.
Again, people are being urged to instead make use of Lady Julian Bridge, which crosses the river from St Anne's Wharf to the stretch of Riverside in front of the Odeon cinema.
The timing of the closure also means the bridge will be out of action on the day of Paul Lambert's return to Carrow Road for the East Anglian Derby on Sunday, February 10.
Robin Sainty, chairman of the Canaries Trust supporters' group, said: 'It will certainly be awkward - football fans are a superstitious bunch and often have specific routines they have to go through before games,
'Perhaps it would have been better to have done the works after the season has finished, however, it is just one of those things and if the works need to be done, they need to be done.'
Carrow Road hosts the fixtures during the closure:
Friday, January 18: Norwich City vs Birmingham City (7.45pm kick off)
Saturday, January 26: Norwich City vs Sheffield United (3pm kick off)
Sunday, February 10: Norwich City vs Ipswich Town (12pm kick off)
Saturday, February 23: Norwich City vs Bristol City (3pm kick off)
Saturday, March 9: Norwich City vs Swansea City (3pm kick off)
Wednesday, March 13: Norwich City vs Hull City (7.45pm kick off)
The bridge is scheduled to re-open on Saturday, March 16.