People have been writing to me recently to ask about the delay in re-opening the Witton Park Bridge. I have written to Durham County Council to find out what is happening, and what their plans are for the bridge.
The bridge was due to reopen in December and residents were concerned about a lack of information about the delay.
Here’s an extract from the Council’s reply:
“Witton Park Bridge was initially planned to be closed for 20 weeks from mid-July 2018 to allow the Council to partially rebuild, clean and paint it.
“However, during the work a number of potentially serious structural defects have been discovered and following an initial structural assessment it has been found that the bridge can no longer withstand the weight of traffic. In the interests of public safety, no vehicles, bikes or pedestrians will be allowed across until further notice. All temporary scaffolding has now been removed and fences erected to prevent access to the bridge.”
“At this stage we have not yet identified whether the bridge can be repaired or will need replacing. [Durham County Council] are currently completing and checking the structural assessment that was undertaken and whilst we do not expect the current situation to change it may better inform us of possible options. Investigations will continue over the coming months in an effort to establish the full extent of the damage and determine whether it can be repaired or requires replacement.”
“In the meantime the C93 will remain closed between the villages of Witton Park and High range, with a signed diversion continuing via the A68 and the neighbouring village of Witton-le-Wear.”
Durham County Council also acknowledged that the extended bridge closure would cause some inconvenience, but that safety must come first.
I will post another update when more details are available from the council.