New Elvet Bridge, which has been closed since July 2020 for repairs, has reopened for both vehicles and pedestrians.
Diversions introduced during the bridge’s closure, including the bus gate at Quarryheads roundabout, have also been removed.
Renovations carried out during the 15-month closure included: the replacement of the bridge’s southern span; the joints’ removal, renovation, and recasting; the installation of a concrete protection system; and improved drainage works and waterproofing.
On the morning of the 22nd of October, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the bridge reopening.
Before the 2020 closure, an estimated 17,000 vehicles crossed the bridge daily. The length of the bridge’s closure has been criticised, with some local businesses alleging that reduced footfall due to the closure has led to less trade.
Councillor Amanda Hopgood, the council leader, said: “I am delighted that work on New Elvet Bridge is complete and that the route and associated diversions are now open to all traffic once again.
“The bridge is a vital part of the city’s infrastructure and it needed urgent repairs to ensure it remained safe to use. The completion of the project is a significant engineering achievement.
“Issues such as the Covid pandemic and discovery of additional defects, which couldn’t be identified in our initial investigations, have proved challenging but I’m pleased to say that the project has gone well. Contractors and council staff have worked hard to complete not only the planned essential works but also further work, which has reduced the need for future maintenance and therefore minimised the need for future disruption.
“We’d like to thank the residents of Durham, its businesses and those who travelled through the city, for their patience during the refurbishment.”
Image: Durham County Council