PART of the Oak Mall in Greenock has been sealed off by its management which says there are safety issues in relation to the A78 flyover that forms part of the centre’s roof.
An area in the eastern end of the mall is affected leading to the closure of a number of shops. It also means the centre can’t be used as a through-route for pedestrians.
Shops which are can’t trade as a result are Bargain Buys, Holland & Barrett, Optical Express, Unique and M & Co.
Poundland can continue to trade but with access from Lower Clyde Square only.
Argos, Café Fresh, Vodafone and Shoe Zone will be able to re-open once coronavirus restrictions are lifted but only with access from Lower Clyde Square.
The mall issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon explaining: “Concerns were raised by a specialist bridge engineer employed by the centre owners to view problems surrounding water ingress, repairs, and maintenance, needed for the 1960s flyover.
“The centre owner — Lunar Greenock Sarl — has been investigating the condition of the bridge for some time and has passed on the engineer’s concerns to Transport Scotland.
“They have also requested information from the transport authority such as the history of previous inspections and repairs.
“In the interim and, in the interests of safety, we need to close that area of Hamilton Way, to protect the public, tenants and our team.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The owners of the Oak Mall have raised concerns over the safety of the A78 bridge with Police Scotland and Inverclyde Council.
“We have undertaken regular visual inspections and have no information to suggest that the bridge is unsafe at this time.
“A further detailed assessment is due to be completed this week and then considered in full.
“We continue to work on a programme of off-peak maintenance and investigation works to ensure the bridge provides an essential link for business, tourism and road users in the Greenock area.”
The mall has applied for planning permission to demolish the eastern end of the centre and build flats.