Work due to start on next phase of Berwick Old Bridge restoration
07 Oct 2020
Please note: The photograph of councillors on the Old Bridge was taken pre-Covid-19, where there were no social distancing restrictions.
The next phase of a multi-year programme of work to restore and refurbish Berwick’s historic Old Bridge will start on 26 October.
The latest phase is a £800,000 project that will involve waterproofing and repairs to the masonry parapets and has required scheduled ancient monument consent from Historic England as the bridge is a listed Grade 1 structure and of historic importance.
The iconic 15-arch structure was built between 1611 and 1634 by James Burrell out of red sandstone. The bridge was almost complete in 1621, but severe flooding caused damage which put back its completion by several years.
This work on the bridge will build on the £250,000 funding already invested in its repair over the past year.
The investment is part of this year’s £18.6m Local Transport Plan (LTP), which will see a raft of repair, restoration and maintenance projects benefiting pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in all parts of the county.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “This is one of a number of ambitious and wide-ranging improvement projects throughout the county during this financial year, and it is great to see it getting underway.
“The projects range from new walking and cycling schemes to major road and bridge improvement initiatives.”
“The LTP funding, added to the recent government funding for rural roads and bridge repairs means we’ll be spending over £30m on our roads over the next 12 months.”
The three Northumberland County Councillors covering the Berwick area; Councillors Georgina Hill, Gregah Roughead and Catherine Seymour said: “We’re delighted to see work getting underway on this important heritage restoration project for Berwick by the county council.
“The Old Bridge is an iconic structure for the town and this scheme will ensure that it is protected for future generations, while the LTP funding also covers a wide range of other projects which will benefit our communities.
“It’s very satisfying that the town is getting the investment it deserves in the LTP and across a number of areas.”
During the work on the Old Bridge there will be insufficient space to safely accommodate members of the public, and the bridge will therefore be closed to all users from this month until Spring 2021.
Alternative routes will be signposted, with the route for vehicles via the C424, U109, A1167 and C424.