Whitby’s swing bridge upgrade to begin

North Yorkshire County Council’s £250,000 upgrade of Whitby’s historic swing bridge will begin on Monday, October 1.

This work marks the beginning of a £4m package, including a park and ride, designed to reduce congestion in the town and improve life for Whitby’s residents and its ever-increasing numbers of tourists.

The bridge, which was built in 1909, will remain operational for the most part while the work, which is due to last for ten weeks,takes place.

The swing bridge works will include:

replacement of the timber fenders and repairs to the timber dolphins that protect the east and west piers of the bridge in the river;
the creation of footways on the dolphins which will enable the bridge to be maintained more easily;
new navigation lights;
waterproofing of electric cabling and the raising of electrical junction boxes onto the underside of the bridge above the waterline to prevent breakdown of the bridge mechanisms; and
repainting of the entire bridge using its present colour scheme.
This maintenance work is a major part of a two-year project to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns on the bridge. The bridge’s computerised technology has also been updated recently so faults can be tracked and located precisely to prevent failure and speed up repairs.

Weekly progress updates will be posted at the bridge and also on the Bridges web page.

County Councillor Joe Plant, local member, said: “Whitby is rightly proud of its historic bridge and this upgrade will ensure the bridge remains in good condition into the future. The town is one of the country’s major centres of tourism and this wide-reaching programme of works, which the bridge upgrade will spearhead, will provide the transport infrastructure Whitby so rightly deserves.”

Pictured: From left, County Councillor Joe Plant; John Smith, chief bridges engineer; Glenn Smurthwaite, contracts manager of PBS Construction (North East) Ltd, who will be the main contractor on site; Andrew Wood, county council engineer, and Ian Clarkson, joiner with PBS Construction.

One Response to "Whitby’s swing bridge upgrade to begin"

  1. Richard Ineson  September 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    It seems like only yesterday that John Riby was telling us all that the Bridge was in good order and that the wooden dolphins, although appearing to be in imminent danger of falling to pieces, were actually, beneath the mud, in good condition.So what happened?


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whitby photography by glenn kilpatrick