PROJECT: The Silver Bridge will stay closed for longer than expected
PROJECT: The Silver Bridge will stay closed for longer than expected

THE reopening of a popular footpath across a bridge has been delayed again.

Northumbrian Water is carrying out work to renew a large, aged water pipe in the Deepdale Aqueduct and Lartington Lane area of Barnard Castle. The structure, known locally as the “Silver Bridge” was due to reopen in the autumn.

However, Northumbrian Water said during the final stages of the project, checks on a neighbouring pipe unearthed work that if not carried out now, would have been likely to have caused future disruption.

The project is now expected to be completed by the end of March but traffic management will be removed over the Christmas period and kept to a minimum.

This is the third long-term closure of the bridge in less than ten years.

Project manager Gary Cassells said: “We very much appreciate the patience and understanding of customers during the course of this work and apologise for the delays experienced.

“We believe that by dealing with this other pipe now, while we are already working alongside it, we will prevent the need to come back and carry out a separate new project in the future.

“The work on the second pipe, which is approximately 100 years old, is also requiring a redesign and change in method to complete the additional pipe, as well as the manufacture of some specialist fittings. While this is all adding time, it will help to safeguard the water supply for Teesdale.

“We are in a position to remove the traffic management around this work over the Christmas period, from December 21 to January 7 and will keep it at a minimum at other times.”

The bridge will stay closed.