Highways bosses have promised a footbridge will be restored and open to the public by the end of next week.

The bridge, which is off Box Mill Lane, in Halstead, has been closed for more than two weeks while Essex Highways seeks to build a safer and stronger crossing over the River Colne.

The original, defective bridge was dismantled and removed by workman back on April 24 and Highways had stated work would be complete within a three week period.

However, work will likely overrun by several days after it was revealed the bridge will be ready by next Friday.

A spokesman said: “We expect work to be completed and the footbridge to be back in use by the end of next week.”

The announcement comes amid growing concerns the temporary closure of the bridge was denying some pedestrian’s access to areas of Halstead.

Dog walker Janet Woods said: “As far as I can see, as of yesterday, no further work has been done since it was dismantled at least ten days ago.

“The closure means that people on that side of town do not now have access to the town or the footpath through the meadows.”

A public notice warning residents about the closure of the footbridge states there is no alternative route for pedestrians to take.

The Box Mill Lane footbridge is the second one to be closed in the town.

The recently named Riverside footbridge, which links Sainsbury’s car park to the back of Halstead Day centre, has been closed for more than three years for safety reasons. Negotiations over its future are ongoing.