Visitors and residents in Whitby will be given better access across the town’s historic swing bridge with a £200,000 project that will also help the crossing to withstand long periods of extreme heat.
North Yorkshire Council’s bridges team will remove the existing road surface down to the steel deck. They will then waterproof and resurface the bridge, incorporating a lighter coloured surface to reduce heat absorption and expansion of the bridge deck. Repainting is also planned for next year.
During the two-week scheme, the footpaths will be widened to improve safety for pedestrians during busy periods.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “The swing bridge links both sides of Whitby and is one of the town’s busiest areas.
“We’re carrying out essential maintenance and improvement works to the bridge’s mechanics, ensuring it remains in good working order.
“We are also widening the footpaths to improve public safety during weekends and summer holidays when the bridge can get very crowded.
“These upcoming works will not only future-proof the bridge, but enhance the experience of glorious Whitby for both visitors and locals.”
The programme is due to begin on Monday, October 2, lasting for two weeks. The road will be closed to traffic and pedestrians, with a shuttle bus service transporting passengers to the other side of the town. It will remain open for boats to pass in and out of the harbour.
Cllr Neil Swannick, who represents Whitby Streonshalh on North Yorkshire Council, said: “The upcoming works will have significant benefits for the historic bridge, which requires an extensive refurbishment to ensure the opening mechanism can continue to operate on a daily basis.
“Although there is never a good time to carry out such works, we have timed them outside of the busy tourist season to minimise disruption as much as possible.
“We are urging the public to familiarise themselves with the diversion routes ahead of travelling, and we will keep them updated if changes to the schedule are necessary.”
The current swing bridge, which spans 75ft, was built in 1908. It links the upper and lower harbour areas and the east and west sides of the town.
For full details of the diversion, visit North Yorkshire Council’s roadworks map at www.northyorks.gov.uk/roadworks-map