Bridge stays closed

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A DAMAGED Morpeth bridge is likely to remain closed for at least another month.

The historic Chantry footbridge, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, has been closed since September when it was hit by a tree trunk during a flood and suffered significant structural damage.

The incident was witnessed by a member of Northumberland County Council’s bridges team and access was closed off immediately over fears that the delicate cast-iron bridge would collapse.

Emergency repairs were carried out in October to stabilise the structure and put in place a temporary support, before further checks were made and the damaged sections were removed for repairs.

It was initially anticipated that the work would take at least three months and consent for repairs had to be given by English Heritage.

Now council officials say the process of pattern making and casting is due to start shortly and specialists will be inspecting the rest of the footbridge for fractures.

It is hoped that the bridge will re-open in four to six weeks.

In the meantime, pedestrians should continue using the nearby Telford Bridge, or cross the river at the Elliott Footbridge into Carlisle Park.