Agenda item

Tyne Bridge Major Maintenance

Report of the Assistant Director Transport, Newcastle and Strategic Director, Communities and Environment, Gateshead


The Committee received a report to provide an update on the proposals for the major maintenance of the Tyne Bridge.  It identifies the works to be undertaken, the budget costs and the anticipated programme for delivery.


The Tyne Bridge which was constructed between 1925 and 1928 was given Grade 11* listed status by English Heritage in 2018 as part of the Great North Exhibition of the North celebrations.  When opened on 10 October 1928 it was the largest single span steel arch bridge in Britain.  The bridge is landmark feature in the North East and is recognised around the world.


A programme of specialist inspections and investigations of the conditions of the bridge has been carried out over recent years to identify the scope and extent of the maintenance works that a now required.


The maintenance works will include the following:


·        Full grit blasting and repainting of the bridge steelwork

·        Steelwork and cast-iron repairs/replacement as required

·        Lighting repairs/replacement as required

·        Concrete and drainage repairs within the towers

·        Resurfacing

·        Road drainage and joint repairs/replacement

·        Security improvements and

·        Door and window repair/replacement


In addition, consideration will be given to


·        Bird access/nesting prevention measures

·        Access improvement and

·        Vehicle containment measures


The intention is to carry out the programme of works over a three-year period.


The works will be undertaken in a manner that will seek to minimize the impact on any users and co-ordination is taking place with the team who are undertaking the air quality work.  However, it is envisaged that there will be a requirement for a limited number of bridge closures.  Where possible these closures will take place over night and will be publicised in advance with clearly signed diversion routes put in place.


Officers are liaising with RSPB regards to the proposed nesting prevention measures.  The programme costs have been prepared following work estimates provided by consultants / specialist contractors following the development of outline designs for the proposed works.  The current budget estimate for the works is in the order of £20m.


A bid has been submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) for Major Road Network (MRN) funding.  The bide for the Tyne Bridge was combined with a programme of maintenance works on the Central Motorway in Newcastle.


This combined bid was successful in the first stage of the assessment and the DfT granted the authorities £100,000 to develop the projects Outline Business Case.  Works have been progressed in 2020-21 to develop the Outline Business Case.  However, at the moment a date for DfT final approval has not been identified.


It is anticipated that if successful the funding will be subject to a local contribution, estimated to be in the region of £3m and it is propsed that this would be met from the existing Local Transport Plan Maintenance Block allocations spread over 3-5 years.  This would be funded by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council on a 58%-42% basis.  Additional sources of funding are being investigated.


RESOLVED –               (i)           that the information contained within the report be noted.

                                      (ii)          that the proposal for the major maintenance of the Tyne Bridge as detailed in the report be recommended to the appropriate committee of each authority.

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