Bridge out of action

Flooding in Morpeth , September 25th 2012
Flooding in Morpeth , September 25th 2012

A MORPETH bridge will be closed for at least three months due to flood damage.

The Chantry Footbridge, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, was struck by a tree trunk when the River Wansbeck was in flood last week, causing significant structural damage.

The incident was witnessed by a member of Northumberland County Council’s bridges team and some of the damage is visible, but there are also concerns that there may be other hidden problems as the bridge is constructed from cast iron, which is brittle as regards withstanding impact from floating debris.

The bridge is now considered a ‘dangerous structure’ and public access is strictly off limits for safety reasons.

Experts are now considering how best to inspect the damage as the bridge is structurally unsafe.

If no further problems emerge, it is estimated that repairs will take three or four months and the bridge may have to be removed to enable the necessary work to be carried out.

Due to the bridge’s status, consent for repairs will have to be given by English Heritage.

Pedestrians have been told to use Telford Bridge, or cross the river via Carlisle Park and the Elliott Footbridge.