COUNCIL chiefs have revealed that major progress has been made as part of a scheme to revamp a historic bridge.
Staffordshire County Council chief executive Nick Bell revealed in a letter to Burton MP Andrew Griffiths that work to restore the Ferry Bridge is continuing to gather pace.
Workmen are currently working on the landmark as part of efforts to take a close look at the condition of the bridge deck.
Authority bosses also confirmed that while on site work will be undertaken to strengthen the foundations of the bridge.
Mr Bell said: “The county council is working in partnership with English Heritage, East Staffordshire Borough Council and Burton Civic Society to fully understand the condition of the listed structure so that a maintenance scheme can be delivered next year to restore the structure to its former glory, ensuring it remains open and in good condition for years to come.”
Once the assessment of the bridge deck is complete, a scheme to repair that part of the structure is expected to take place next summer.
Work to strengthen the foundations of the bridge is expected to last three months.
A recent inspection report, seen by the Mail, was filled with hundreds of images that showed the large amount of work needed to help bring the bridge back to its best.
Problems listed range from general wear and tear to erosion.
The total cost of repairs could reach up to £1 million.
The Ferry Bridge was gifted to the town in 1889 by Michael Arthur Bass.
It was built to replace an existing ferry boat crossing linking the communities of Stapenhill and Burton.
A group called Friends of the Ferry Bridge was set up following concerns that the bridge is falling into disrepair.
The group want to see more work done to the rest of the bridge to restore it to its formers glory.
The authority’s cabinet support member for transport Simon Tagg said: “Burton’s Ferry Bridge is an historic landmark for both the town and the county and it is important that we preserve it for future generations.
“This is essential maintenance work to the bridge’s supporting pillars.”
More information about the project is available by visiting www.staffordshire.gov.uk/ferrybridge