One of Scarborough’s most historic landmarks is set to receive £250,000 of refurbishment work funded by North Yorkshire County Council.
Valley Bridge will be renovated and repaired as part of the council’s planned maintenance programme, which will span a number of years.
Concerns had been raised locally about the current state of the bridge, as parts of it are in poor repair with rust and broken sections clearly visible.
However, a spokeswoman from the county council explained that in September, the council arranged specialist access contractors to remove any deteriorating, non-structural components on the bridge that were in danger of falling off.
She explained that although the bridge looks visually worse as a result of this work, it is safe.
The county council is now in the middle of a £250,000 procurement exercise to buy new components such as handrails, fascia panels and different cappings to replace cracked and rusting parts of the parapet.
David Bowe, the county council’s corporate director for business and environmental services, said: “Last September we employed civil engineers, specialised in rope access, who abseiled along the Valley Bridge structure on both sides to inspect the decorative balustrade and to remove any components that had the potential to come loose. We are now in the process of awarding a contract for replacement components for the balustrade which have to be specially cast.
“We wish to reassure members of the public that the bridge is structurally sound and that no loose components have fallen from the bridge – all have been safely removed.
“The structural stability of the bridge has not been compromised and the bridge is fit for purpose.
“We now intend to push ahead with awarding the contract for casting the new parts so they can be fitted later this year. In the meantime we will continue to monitor the bridge.
“The renovation work will be undertaken over a 22-week period, but will not require closure of the bridge to traffic or pedestrians.”
The plan was welcomed by Scarborough’s MP Robert Goodwill - although he believes that the work is somewhat overdue.
He said: “While looking at the bridge on Saturday, I couldn’t help but notice that by not repairing some parts of the bridge earlier, the council may have racked up a bigger bill.
“A stitch in time saves nine and I wonder if it’s possibly been left a little bit too long. It does seem like the rust has been allowed to build up.”
Mr Goodwill added: “However, I’m pleased that county are looking at it.”
Adrian Perry, chairman of Scarborough Civic Society, said that he was pleased to hear about the work, as the bridge is an important historical landmark.
He said: “It’s good that they’re making the investment. It’s a very important arterial road and a very important structure.
“It’s got a very interesting history and was bought originally as a bridge that had collapsed over the River Ouse in York.”
The renovation work follows renovation work at Spa Bridge in 2009/10, just a couple of hundred yards along Valley Road.