The underside of Scarborough’s historic Valley Bridge is to be repainted to protect its structure for decades to come in a project that will cost nearly £2m.
Work to repaint the steel girders of spans three and four of this four-span high level bridge, which carries the A165 over the town’s Valley Ravine, will begin on July 1 and last for approximately 20 weeks, at a cost of £915,000.
Spans one and two on the bridge’s south side are due to be repainted next year at a similar cost.
The existing paint surfaces will be removed before contractors apply a new three coat paint system in the bridge’s classic dark green to protect its structure.
Footpaths under these spans will have to be closed while the repainting is carried out.
However the work is not anticipated to affect traffic flows on Valley Bridge or on Valley Road, which runs underneath the bridge and will not require traffic management.
County Cllr Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Access and Highways, said: “When the repainting is finished next year, that will mark the end of a five year scheme to make the bridge fit for purpose for the next 35 years.
“Valley Bridge is North Yorkshire’s largest painted bridge structure and requires an enormous amount of paint to protect the girders, but by the end of the project it will be fit for purpose and stand proud as a fine historic landmark in Scarborough.”
In total over the last five years, North Yorkshire County Council will have spent nearly £4m on the bridge’s first complete refurbishment since 1933 when the bridge, which first opened in 1865, was rebuilt to accommodate the increase in motorised traffic.
During the extensive works of these recent years the existing decorative balustrade and steel fence of the bridge were dismantled and fully refurbished with new, specialist, cast iron components including handrails and fascia panels and different cappings.
These components were especially cast.
The fencing and the balustrade were repainted to match the original colour scheme.
The bridge was also resurfaced and waterproofed.