Jubilee Bridge restoration postponed until next year

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Plans to restore a Matlock Bath landmark to its former glory have been postponed until next year.

Derbyshire Dales District Council announced its intention to spend £140,000 refurbishing the Jubilee Bridge in May.

But now the work has been put on hold due to difficulties meeting conditions imposed by the Environment Agency.

Paul Wilson, director of planning for the district council, said that although the bridge is structurally sound at present, it needs “significant additional strengthening works” to avoid costly maintenance during the next ten years.

He said: “The additional cost and extent of these works, which could not have been anticipated, meant the project could not be completed on time or on budget.

“While it is regrettable the restoration will not be completed in time for our 2013 Illuminations season, we have no choice but to defer the project and re-tender the contract based on a revised specification of works.”

Mr Wilson added: “Although there are no health and safety issues associated with keeping the bridge open in its current state while we re-tender the contract, we are naturally disappointed we have been forced to delay the restoration of such an important architectural feature. However, the District Council remains committed to the refurbishment of Jubilee Bridge at the earliest opportunity.”

The last time the bridge was given a facelift was in its centenary year over 25 years ago. Work will ultimately include blast cleaning all the metalwork, testing the structure’s integrity, replacing any defective metal plates and timber decking, re-pointing bridge abutments and replacing electric cabling to facilitate new feature lighting.

The entire bridge will be re-painted in its original mid-green colour, with a pale green or cream to pick out details such as the name plate and date.