Complex Kennet Side Project Protects Footway And Cycle Path

Reading Borough Council completed work at the end of December to strengthen a section of retaining wall along the south bank of the River Kennet, which will safeguard an approximately 60 metre section of the riverside footway between the Watlington St Bridge and Sidmouth Street.

The work, which began in October, has seen a major strengthening of the 100-year-old retaining wall alongside the river. The works protect the busy and important footpath/cycle way that runs alongside Kennet Side.

The project involved a 2 metre deep excavation on the footway side of the river wall and inserting mass concrete to strengthen the Kennet Side retaining wall.

It is part of Reading Borough Council’s rolling five year bridge maintenance programme, funded by the Department of Transport’s annual Capital Award.

A temporary diversion for pedestrians and cyclists was required during construction, which included excavation of parts of the footway, relocation of affected utility services and the construction of a concrete anchor wall to the back of the existing retaining wall. The conclusion of the works means that there is now a continuous, stable footway and cycleway in place once more for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“This has been a complex operation but one which is crucial for the people of Reading. We have been able to safeguard the Kennet Side footway which is an important travel route for current and future generations of pedestrians and cyclists, using the National Cycle Network into and out of Reading. The work complements Reading Borough Council’s commitment to active travel, with a range of schemes supporting and encouraging more journeys in to Reading on foot or by bike”.