Improvement works to historic Morpeth bridge

Work starts next week on improvements to Morpeth’s historic Telford Bridge.

The six week scheme gets underway on May 22 and will involve repointing the underside of the arches and the bridge faces as well as improvement and strengthening work to the stone parapets of the bridge, which was built in 1831 by the engineer Thomas Telford.

The work forms part of the £6.7 m county-wide scheme  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 repair work.  The authority has also contributed just over £1m towards the scheme.

To enable the work to be carried out safely, in the later stages of the scheme temporary traffic lights will be in place on a limited number of occasions  between 7pm and 10pm on weekday evenings  and between 7am and 10am on Sunday mornings to allow the masonry units to be lifted in place.  

On these limited occasions, only one lane of the bridge along with the adjacent footway will be closed.  Vehicles will continue to use the remaining traffic lane to cross the bridge.  Pedestrians will either use the remaining footway or the adjacent footbridge to get to and from the town centre.  Outside these times the bridge will be fully open.

It is likely that the traffic management will only be used in the last two weeks of the works and only intermittently during this period.

The vast majority of the works will be carried out from the riverside to gain access to the underside of the arches and the walls.

David Laux, Head of Technical Services at Northumberland County Council, said: “Telford Bridge is one of the key routes into Morpeth and it is important it is kept in good condition.

“While the work will take around six weeks we’re ensuring disruption is kept to a minimum, with any traffic management only during evenings or early Sunday mornings when traffic flows are much lower, and the road will remain open to traffic and pedestrians at all times.”
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