Safety checks carried out at Valley Bridge

131614a'Workmen inspecting Valley Bridge after pieces of it had reportedly fallen to the road below'Picture by Neil Silk'16/04/13
131614a'Workmen inspecting Valley Bridge after pieces of it had reportedly fallen to the road below'Picture by Neil Silk'16/04/13
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Specialist engineers have been carrying out a detailed inspection of Valley Bridge in Scarborough this week.

North Yorkshire County Council has organised for civil engineers, who specialise in rope access, to abseil along the bridge structure on both sides to inspect the decorative balustrade to confirm the integrity of the metalwork of the parapets.

The inspection follows recent reports in The Scarborough News about concerns over the safety of the bridge, after a resident found a large piece of corroded metal - complete with green paint - underneath.

The county council has stated that it carries out a visual inspection of Valley Bridge every week and is currently in the process of contracting for a major £450,000 refurbishment of the bridge parapets which is due to begin in August.

Workers carried out a detailed inspection of the bridge last September and on that occasion, engineers removed deteriorated pieces of the cast iron bridge. These pieces were all decorative and not structural.

The planned programme for August will include maintenance to the bridge superstructure and movement joints, surfacing, waterproofing as well as the parapet refurbishment.

The supply of the new, specialist cast-iron components is currently being procured.

New handrails, fascia panels and different cappings will replace cracked and rusting parts of the parapet to restore the bridge to its former style.

The contract will be awarded next month and the new castings will be ready by August to fit onto the bridge.

David Bowe, the county council’s corporate director for business and environmental services, said: “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.

“Valley Bridge forms part of an important arterial highway through the town but is also fundamental to Scarborough’s heritage and the county council is committed to a long-term programme for the bridge to maintain it at a high standard.”