Milestone for bridge repairs

Pauperhaugh Bridge.
Pauperhaugh Bridge.

A three-year scheme to repair bridges across Northumberland has reached a major milestone with the completion of repairs to the 100th structure.

The £6.7million project involves remedial work to improve the condition of 130 masonry arch bridges, prevent water damage and stop the escalation of more costly repair problems in the future.

It is being funded nationally following a successful bid by Northumberland County Council to cover the cost of the repairs. The authority has also contributed just over £1million towards the scheme.

The work is being carried out predominantly in the rural areas in the north and west of the county.

Alnwick’s Lion Bridge, Burradon Lake Bridge, Cragside, Wallington Bridge, Simonburn Bridge, Pauperhaugh Bridge and Bellingham Tyne Bridge are just some of the structures that have recently undergone masonry repairs and repointing work.

The scheme started in 2015 and, with only 30 bridges remaining, the authority is on target to complete the scheme by the end of this year.

Simon Rudman, technical services design manager at Northumberland County Council, has been leading on the project.

“In Northumberland, you are never far from a bridge,” he said. “The vast, rural nature of the county means we have a higher number of very old masonry arch bridges which have an average age of 170 years.

“The funding we received for this project has enabled us to take action now to carry out repair work and resolve any issues at an early stage.

“Our focus has been to minimise the disruption to the travelling public as much as we can while working to complete the job as quickly as we can.”