Work starts on historic Newlay Bridge next week

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History: Newlay Bridge dates back to 1819, Photo: Jill Buckley

Maintenance work to the historic Newlay Bridge  between Bramley and Horsforth is set to take place from next week.

Leeds City Council will start work on 23 July for a 12-week period to prepare and paint the underside of the bridge. The bridge’s waterproofing will be replaced, and stone decking cleaned, with the existing stone setts reinstated on the surface.

The bridge spans 25 metres and is a Grade ll* listed structure in the Newlay Conservation area. It’s considered one of the oldest iron bridges in the county, built by John Pollard in 1819 and will celebrate its bi-centennial anniversary in March 2019.

The bridge is made up of arched cast iron ribs connected by cast iron lattice bracings, so this essential work is to help stop corrosion and preserve its historic structure.

The bridge is a well-used access route for pedestrians and cyclists across the River Aire between Pollard Lane and Newlay Lane.

To minimise the impact on the public the bridge will remain open for the majority of time the work takes place. It will be completely closed for two days, between 13 – 31 August, in order to undertake the waterproofing work.

During the rest of the work, pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to cross the bridge. But parts of the footway will be narrower than at the moment (about 1.2m wide). Cyclists are being asked to dismount when passing through the narrower parts.

Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Councillor Richard Lewis (Lab , Pudsey) said:

“Newlay Bridge is an historic asset for the city and well used pedestrian and cyclist route across the River Aire.

“As part of this essential work to preserve its heritage and improve the lifespan of the bridge, we will use a specialised paint system reducing the need for more future maintenance and help to protect the environment. And next year given its two-hundredth anniversary it seems fitting to make it look as good as it can.

“The public will have plenty of notice of the two-day closure required to do the waterproofing works, which will happen in the school holidays.”

Before the two-day closure there will be advance signage and notices on the footbridge. The diversion route will be via Victoria Gardens, A65, A6120, Rodley Lane, Leeds and Bradford Road and Pollard Lane.

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