WORK is set to begin this month on a £50,000 renovation project to prolong the life of an ‘iconic’ footbridge in Burton.
After a significant amount of work with English Heritage and other planning authorities, a maintenance scheme for the historic Ferry Bridge has been agreed.
Staffordshire County Council has agreed that the work will begin later this month with the bridge open to the public as usual throughout the scheme.
A spokesman for Staffordshire County Council told the Mail: “The work will begin towards the end of the month and is structural repair work to the supporting columns of the bridge.
“We have been in contact with all our local members because it is an historic bridge.
“The cost of the whole project is around £50,000 but that will sustain the bridge for the future and it is a listed bridge so it is work that has to be done.”
Chris Plant, senior project engineer for the scheme, explained in more detail what the work will involve.
He said: “The structure is supported by four original cast iron piers founded in the River Trent which are filled with structural concrete.
“The cast iron has begun to show signs of distress. The solution we have identified will have minimal impact on the appearance of the structure and will not replace any original components.
“We propose to install steel sleeves to the base of all four columns from the river bed up to low water level.
“Above this we propose to part wrap the existing columns in carbon fibre, which once painted black, will match the appearance of the original cast iron.”
As this scheme will be undertaken from the flood plain with access to the structure by floating pontoons, it will be dependent on favourable weather conditions as the depth and flow of the River Trent will impact on the works.
Burton Tower County councillor Conor Wileman added his support for the scheme.
He said: “For myself, and many who live and work in Burton, the Ferry Bridge is an iconic landmark and I am delighted to see the county council investing money into the bridge, making it structurally safe so it can be enjoyed for many more decades.”