A PUBLIC bridleway and farm access over the River Till at Doddington is once again available, thanks to a partnership between the county council and the local landowners.
The original early 19th century, stone-arched bridge was severely damaged during the floods of 2008.
It has been closed ever since meaning that the bridleway couldn’t be used and that two farms with land on either side of the river were effectively split in half.
Initially, the possibility of repairing the old bridge was considered, but the estimated cost of over £500,000 made this option impossible. A new bridge was therefore designed, and built by Southbay Civil Engineering of North Shields.
The bridge has been funded by the county council and Greenwich Hospital Estate (one of the farm landowners), with the other landowner contributing the land for the bridge foundations and the contractors’ working area.
The new bridge mirrors the stone arch of the old bridge but is built of steel and wood, utilising recycled materials where possible to provide a rustic-looking but practical crossing once again linking both sides of the river for the public and the local landowners.
Coun Isabel Hunter, executive member for environment and infrastructure, said: “This has been a great example of the county council working with local landowners to achieve an outcome that benefits everyone.
“The public access link across the southern end of the Milfield Plain has been restored and the two farms that had been split are once again connected.”
The bridge was officially opened by Coun Hunter, Coun Anthony Murray and Gill Green, of Southbay Civil Engineering, last month.