THREE months of work to strengthen and stabilise waterways in Reading will resume this week along the River Kennet.

Efforts to help retain the wall structures that run along the Kennetside for generations to come will get back underway today (September 18) between the Kenavon Footbridge, near Cholmeley Road, and the Horseshoe Footbridge - where the Kennet meets the River Thames.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has said the strengthening work is necessary as timber elements of the wall have rotted over many decades. Holes left behind can cause backfill material to be washed away, leaving voids beneath the footway resulting in an 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.

Works starting today - part of a £720,000 council investment - is the sixth phase of the ongoing project.

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

RBC lead councillor for enviromental service Karen Rowland said: "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.”

Alongside the works below ground level, the existing guardrail will also 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.

During the work, the 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.

There is also a signed diversion in place for vehicle access from Cholmeley Road to Kennetside during the work.