Kennetside strengthening project continues next week

The next phase of an ongoing project to strengthen and stabilise the Kennetside retaining wall structures for future generations continues next week.

From Monday 18 September, work will resume between the Kenavon Footbridge, near Cholmeley Road, running along the Kennetside to the Horseshoe Footbridge, where the Kennet meets the Thames.

Strengthening work is necessary as timber elements of the wall have rotted over many decades. Holes left behind cause backfill material to be washed away, leaving voids beneath the footway resulting in increased risk of collapses along this national cycle route. The strengthening work is to repair and fill the voids, significantly increasing the load carrying capacity of the wall, protecting the river frontage and properties alongside it.

The latest £720,000 Council investment is the 6th phase of the ongoing project.

Work along this stretch is expected to run for three months and is due for completion just before Christmas.

Most of the completed work will not be obviously visible to residents, but the existing guardrail will be replaced from near the Jolly Anglers pub with a taller equivalent installed to match the style of the guardrail between Kings Bridge and Blakes Lock.

In order to allow the works to be carried out safely, the shared use footway / cycleway between the Kenavon Footbridge and the Horseshoe Footbridge will be closed with a signed diversion in place. The diversion is along School Terrace onto Liverpool Road and then London Road, returning to the Thames Path along the A3290 to access it at the Wokingham Waterside Centre.

For vehicle access from Cholmeley Road to Kennetside during the work:

  • Right turn access to Kennetside (East) will not be possible throughout the duration of the work.
  • Left turn access to Kennetside (West) and access to parking between properties 336 and 346 will be suspended from 13November to 22 December. Pedestrian access for residents of 336 to 346 Kennetside will be maintained where possible with some exceptions when restricted access will be essential. Any restriction to residents’ access will be kept to a minimum and will be communicated in good time by the contractor.

Work also begins on Monday next week on three days of trial hole investigation on Kennetside from Patriot Place to Queen’s Wharf. This will involve a closure of footway and cycleway access along this stretch with a signed diversion in place. These investigations will allow Phase 7 of the strengthening programme to take place early next year.

An 8th phase is planned for summer 2024, along the Kennetside running immediately west of the Phase 6 works which begin on Monday.

“These ongoing works to strengthen and stabilise our historic Kennetside are essential in order to extend the life of the supporting wall which, understandably, has deteriorated over many decades.

The works will allow generations to continue using this extremely popular and practical walking and cycle route, which is also a key feature of our town.

This strengthening programme began back in 2011 and has already seen over 250m of the Kennetside wall strengthened.

We appreciate the challenges that work diversions cause in people’s routines and that this latest phase of works will be an inconvenience to users. However we do trust that they understand why this work is necessary and ask residents to bear with us while we carry out this essential work.”

Karen Rowland, Lead Councillor for Environmental Services and Community Safety
Last updated on 14/09/2023