Lift off for bridge that will be used elsewhere
A 100-tonne bridge that spanned a country road, which goes to Ponteland when heading west and south, is on its way to a new home after being lifted out of place by a large crane.
Banks Mining, part of The Banks Group, has been making preparations since mid-May to remove and recycle the 32m bridge, which sat above the link road between Banks’ Brenkley Lane surface mine near Blagdon and Dinnington on the Northumberland/Newcastle border and the site compound on the other side of the C357.
Northumberland County Council’s construction team was commissioned to work on the removal. This included the building of a temporary road alongside the C357 to allow traffic to continue using the route while the work is being done.
The bridge itself, which was located between the Milkhope Centre and the Horton Grange Hotel, will shortly be checked and galvanised by previous owners Mabey Hire Services before being re-used on another project elsewhere in the country.
Work to re-open the main road – as well as on other aspects of the project, which has included the creation of a temporary footpath around the bridge area and also the redirection of the site’s utilities – is expected to be complete before the end of the summer.
Jeannie Raine, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “Despite challenging weather at times, preparations for removing the bridge have gone well. Seeing such a sizeable structure lifted into the air was quite a sight to see.
“The bridge served our operations well for more than a decade, enabling large vehicles to move freely between the site and the compound without disrupting other local traffic, and it’s great to know that it will be recycled and re-used elsewhere.
“Northumberland County Council’s expert construction team have done anexcellent job on the project and we’ll continue working with them to complete these operations as quickly as we can.”
Banks Mining began working the Brenkley Lane site in 2010 and it completed its mineral extraction nine years later.
Since then, it has been undertaking a comprehensive programme of landscaping and restoration work.