Work to install a new footbridge linking Whitby’s West Pier with the pier extension is due to start on 11 June.
Contractors will begin by dismantling the temporary footbridge, installed last December, before removing the original structure which was closed by Scarborough Borough Council last September following safety concerns.
The work is expected to last six weeks, but has been timed to avoid the half term school holidays and the start of the main tourist season in a bid to keep any inconvenience to a minimum.
Cabinet portfolio holder with responsibility for harbours, Cllr Mike Cockerill, said: “There will be some inconvenience to people while the new structure is installed and I can empathise with those anglers who will temporarily lose access to the pier extension.
“However, I firmly believe the overwhelming majority of people in Whitby and the many thousands of visitors who come to the town every year will be delighted to see this new bridge installed, on schedule and on budget.
“In terms of timescale, there has been no deviation on what we set out to achieve. We have had to work within prevailing legislative and consultative requirements. The pier is a listed structure so we have had to get consent from the Secretary of State and we have had to follow the tender process.
“Our aim is to get the bridge installed and opened to the public before the start of the main summer holidays and while there will be short term disruption, there will be long term benefits for Whitby and I hope the vast majority of people will understand that.”
The existing link bridge is thought to have been built in the late 1940s. After the council was forced to close the bridge, councillors and officers stating categorically from the outset they wanted to see the structure replaced.
In the meantime, a temporary structure was quickly sourced and installed, with the money to pay for it coming out of Whitby Harbour Board reserves.
At the same time, the council began looking at permanent solutions. The new bridge is being funded by Scarborough Borough Council out of the local authority’s Capital Development Reserve Fund.