ENGINEERS are to carry out £250,000 worth of maintenance work to a bridge to ensure it is safe.
Mayor Stuart Drummond approved proposals for structural work on the Brenda Road bridge, in Hartlepool, at a Hartlepool Borough Council meeting.
Officers say if the work is not carried out it could lead to a full replacement of the bridge at a cost of £2.5m.
A routine visual inspection was carried out on the structure in August last year which revealed evidence of “significant corrosion” to parts of the steel structure.
Originally £100,000 was set aside from the council’s revenue budget before a more detailed inspection of the structure.
That was carried out in April 2012, once arrangements were made with Network Rail.
It revealed the full extent of the work needing to be carried out and Mayor Drummond was asked to agree plans for a further £150,000 of funding.
That money will come from the council’s Local Transport Plan fund.
Mayor Drummond discussed the work at a meeting of his regeneration and neighbourhood’s portfolio.
A council report said the Brenda Road Bridge was constructed around 1926 and is made up of concrete supporting a steel girder structure with a reinforced concrete deck overlaid.
The bridge carries the B1277 over the Network Rail Sunderland to Thornaby rail line.
Officers recommended the work be carried out to ensure the structure is in a safe condition.
Damien Wilson, assistant director (regeneration and planning), said: “The estimated cost of the remedial and maintenance measures identified is of the order of £250,000.
“If the works are not carried out the structure will deteriorate to a point where full replacement may be necessary at a likely cost in the order of £2.5m.”
Mayor Drummond said: “We don’t really have a choice with this one. I am happy to approve that.”
The structural work will see remedial works to reinforce concrete parapets and erection of a barrier to the front of the parapet walls.
All exposed steel elements will also be repainted and engineers will repair the corroded stiffener plates between the top and bottom girder flanges to maintain their load capacity.
Work will also be carried out to prevent any further deterioration.