Work starts on removal of surface mine bridge

Work to remove and recycle a 100-tonne bridge that currently spans a country road which goes to Ponteland when heading west, then south, is underway.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:42 am
Scott Wharton of Northumberland County Council's construction team with Jeannie Raine at the Brenkley Lane site.

Banks Mining, part of The Banks Group, has commissioned Northumberland County Council’s construction team to work on the removal of the 32m bridge, which sits above the link road between Banks’ Brenkley Lane surface mine near Blagdon and Dinnington on the Northumberland/Newcastle border and the site compound on the other side of the C357.

A temporary road is currently being built alongside the C357 (also known as Berwick Hill Road) to allow traffic to continue using the route while the work is being done, with traffic lights in place to help ensure workers’ safety.

The bridge itself, which lies on the C357 between the Milkhope Centre and the Horton Grange Hotel, is expected to be removed towards the end of June, with a large crane being brought to the site.

It will be checked, galvanised and re-used by previous owners Mabey Hire Services before being used on another project elsewhere in the country.

The whole project, which will also include a new patch of road, creation of a temporary footpath around the bridge area and redirection of the site’s utilities, is expected to take around three months to complete.

Jeannie Raine, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “The bridge has served our operations well for more than a decade,ensuring that large vehicles can move freely between the site and thecompound without disrupting other local traffic, and it’s great to knowthat it will recycled and reused elsewhere.

“We’re very pleased to have commissioned Northumberland County Council’s expert construction team to carry out the required work around the bridge and they have made a fast start preparing the surroundinginfrastructure that’s required before the structure can be removed.”

Banks Mining began working the Brenkley Lane site in 2010 and completed coaling nine years later.

Since then, it has been undertaking a comprehensive programme of landscaping and restoration work.