Northumberland gets additional funding for bridge repair works

A £5million bridges repair scheme for Northumberland roads has started this month which will focus on works on ‘high value’ steel bridges in the county.

In March, it was announced that Northumberland CC was successful in securing £3.7million grant from the Government for the works which is to be combined with a further £1.1 million from the local authority and will see eight road bridges fully repainted and repaired.

The council cabinet is being asked to accept the Department for Transport grant formally at its meeting on May 12.

The report to councillors explains that work during the spring period are expected to include design, securing required permits and procurement of key contractors.

Originally, the £4.8million was going to be spent in the previous and current financial year, but it is now envisaged that half will be spent this year and the remainder in 2021-22, as works will have to be phased, taking into account environmental and ecological constraints and the availability of specialist contractors.

The funding came from the third tranche of the national Highway Maintenance Challenge Fund and Northumberland is the only local authority in the region to have secured three successive awards, bringing in more than £14million over the past five years.

In the first tranche, the council secured £5.625million of funding towards a £6.7million project to repair 130 masonry arch bridges across the county.

It then received £5million towards a £6.5million scheme to repair roads vital to the local economy, including timber, quarrying, agriculture and tourism.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, the cabinet member for local services, said: “It’s fantastic to have secured this Government funding boost for the third successive round of the funding. These bridges are vital crossing points for communities, businesses and tourists and we need to keep them in good condition.”

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