Investigation To Secure Future Of Historic Bridge

Berwick-upon-Tweed’s Old Bridge is set to close to traffic for two weeks in April while essential investigations are undertaken to determine what work needs to be carried out to preserve the historic structure.

Northumberland County Council announced that the bridge will be closed from Monday 3rd April to give its engineers an opportunity to assess its condition.

The work falls under Northumberland County Council’s masonry arch improvement programme, the news provider revealed.

Carrying out surveys and work now could also save the council up to £60 million compared to having to fork out for the expense of long-term reconstruction.

Cabinet member for local services councillor Ian Swithenbank commented: “We are committed to keeping our road network in good condition and this includes repairs to bridges which carry thousands of vehicles each day.”

According to Historic England, the Old Bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed was the first road bridge constructed across the River Tweed. It dates back to the early 17th century, having been built between 1611 and 1634.

In 2015, Northumberland County Council received £6.7 million in government funding to cover the cost of repairing 130 masonry bridge arches around the county. The project on the Old Bridge will be covered by some of this money.

Only 28 councils around the UK had their bids for this funding approved, with Northumberland noted for having a higher than average proportion of masonry arch bridges that have been in use for over 170 years.

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