Lincolnshire County Council has submitted plans for a significant reconstruction of the historic footway at Lincoln's Glory Hole, following a partial collapse in February this year.
The proposed solution, estimated to cost around £80,000, aims to "aesthetically look like the original timber jetty," blending modern engineering with the area's rich heritage.
A local business owner has expressed frustration over the length of time the works are taking.
However, the council insists that these precautions are necessary to ensure safety during the reconstruction.
The footway, a well-trodden path lined with flag paving, has been an integral part of Lincoln's landscape for years.
Supported partly by a brick retaining wall and a timber structure, the footway's collapse raised concerns about public safety and the preservation of the city's historical integrity.
The council's solution involves reinforcing the existing timber piles with additional 'C' channel sections and introducing new transverse beams to support Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) deck boards.
These boards will feature a grooved anti-slip surface, ensuring safety without compromising the footway's aesthetic appeal.
One significant challenge is the restricted access to the site.
Lincolnshire County Council are planning repairs to Lincoln's Glory Hole. | Image: Daniel Jaines
"Materials need to be light and small, and the work is likely to be carried out from a marine pontoon or boat," state the supporting documents.
The footway's location along the River Witham, a popular spot for pleasure crafts, adds to the project's complexity, extending beyond construction and planning challenges.
The council must also navigate permissions from the Canals and River Trust and the Environment Agency to ensure the works do not pose a flood risk.
Additionally, the proposal includes environmentally friendly measures, such as using cementitious grout bags suitable for marine environments, ensuring no harm to aquatic lifeforms.
The reconstruction plan has attracted attention from local businesses and residents, especially those directly affected by the footway's closure.
Roger Baldam-Lucas, owner of the nearby Now Hair salon, expressed frustration with the "ridiculous" amount of time taken for planning and permit approvals.
He is concerned about the impact on his business and the delay in funding.
"It's been a long time, they've been fannying about, and it feels like delay tactics," he said.
"I'm totally frustrated; it feels like they're just padding it out until they get funding.
"I'm losing money, I've had stress with this, I've had inconvenience... it's not through any fault of my own, but that of the council."
The footway has been closed since February. | Image: Daniel Jaines
Mr Baldam-Lucas has also been affected by the City of Lincoln Council's repairs to the adjacent Stokes Coffee Shop building.
Lincolnshire County Council said it hoped to carry out the works early in the new year.
Responding to the criticism, Cllr Richard Davies, Executive member for Highways, said it was "puzzling" that the funding of the works was being questioned.
“I can categorically say that we are not delaying any works because of money.
"The truth of the matter is that this is a historic public right of way attached to a Grade II listed building, which is hard to reach and sits on the bank of a live, and very active, riverway in constant use by boating traffic.
"As such, we are having to deal with several external agencies, and dealing with each takes time," he explained.
He noted that in preparation for the planning application, the authority had carried out "extensive, vital investigations" towards reopening the walkway.
"What is being suggested is that we are dragging our feet, not doing our job. This is wrong.
"The alternative to what we are doing is to not liaise with the agencies we have to, to not do the work in line with the historic importance of the right of way, to not engage and find a solution to the problems of working in a live river with the Canal & Rivers Trust.
"Any one of those omissions could lead to a catastrophic end result and possibly loss of life.
"For the sake of getting the work done sooner, that is simply not something we are in any way going to consider.
"The work will be done as soon as it can be, without a needless threat to the safety of the experts who will carry it out, and it may take quite some time yet," he added.