Repairs On 100-Year-Old Northumberland Bridge Nearly Complete

Work to fix a bridge in Northumberland that is nearly 100 years old has nearly finished, thanks to a £400,000 repair project.

Work to fix a bridge in Northumberland that is nearly 100 years old has nearly finished, thanks to a £400,000 repair project.

Northumberland Gazette reported how the local authority agreed to invest in the initiative, after exposure to inclement weather and accidents have caused irrevocable damage to the structure since it was built 93 years ago.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment at Northumberland County Council, said: “We’re very pleased this work is now nearing completion and I want to thank local communities for their patience and understanding over the past year. It was vital the work was done as it’s a key route connecting communities.”

Work began on the bridge in May 2019, with repairs to the parapets one of the most important jobs that needed completing.

A year on, outside elevations to the bridge still have to be fixed, while the crash barrier needs repainting.

Following this, the bridge will be fully functional again, able to support road and passenger traffic it has been carrying for nearly 100 years.

Councillor Trevor Thorne told the newspaper: “This work has been warmly welcomed and it should stand the bridge in good stead for many years.”

Another old bridge is due to have work done on it, with the 110-year-old Winnington Swing Bridge in Northwich set to be repaired from August.

The Grade-II-listed bridge has deteriorated over the last century due to heavy vehicles using it to get to several housing developments that being built close-by.

Work on the structure had to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus crisis; however, Northwich Guardian has revealed it will now begin later in the summer.

The council confirmed it will work with the Canal and River Trust to ensure there is minimal disruption to drivers while repairs are carried out.

While this is progress, some locals do not believe the repairs will go far enough. Spokesman of Winnington and Castle Residents’ Voice Group Lee Siddall suggested the council imposing a weight restriction on the bridge to ensure it does not deteriorate in the future, undoing the repairs.

“The council knows that if it puts a weight restriction on the bridge, heavy site traffic will have to use another route, and most other routes through built-up areas can be refused,” he stated.

Mr Siddall went on to say: “At this rate, I think we may be getting new bridge that looks exactly the same as the old bridge.”

Meanwhile, John Tackley, president of River Weaver Navigation Society, said the only solution is to build another bridge to take traffic in the opposite direction.

“It would be disastrous if a new bridge wasn’t a swing bridge, as only narrowboats would be able to go underneath and it wouldn’t be tall enough for other navigation to get to Northwich,” he stated.

The council confirmed the £930,000 initiative’s main purpose was to replace parts of the bridge that are deteriorating, having been built in 1909, which will “ensure it can continue to operate”.

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