Another milestone has been reached in the major restoration of the Tyne Bridge with a specialist contractor now appointed.
North East contractor Esh Construction has secured the contract following a comprehensive tendering process for work required on the Grade II* listed structure.
Esh will proceed with vital inspection works to assess the condition of the bridge and complete detailed costing and project plans with design partner, Capita Real estate and infrastructure, ahead of restoration works.
This is a strict condition of government providing £35.3 million as part of a £41.4 million bid to the Department of Transport for restoration of the Tyne Bridge, together with Central Motorway, which was confirmed on 3 June.
Once funding is released, Esh will conduct the refurbishment work to the Tyne Bridge on behalf of Newcastle and Gateshead councils. This is expected to begin later in the year.
Steve Conn, pre-construction director at Esh, said: “As a regional contractor, we are delighted to be appointed to restore the iconic Tyne Bridge, marking the first major maintenance programme delivered on this structure in over two decades.
“We want to emphasise that we are choosing methods of assessment which will minimise the need for traffic management measures and reduce the impact on users, for example, utilising Point Cloud investigation technology and rope access methods to measure and survey the bridge.”
The first phase of the scheme will see up to 14 weeks of inspection and assessment works conducted on the bridge to determine the scope of maintenance required. This process has commenced, and a series of site-based investigations will get underway shortly.
Cllr Jane Byrne, cabinet member for connected city, said: “We are delighted to be making strong progress on the refurbishment of our much-loved bridge. We made sure we were ready to hit the ground running for when the funding would be confirmed, by getting the procurement process underway earlier this year.
“It’s great to have a local contractor with specialist knowledge working with us as we move towards seeing this iconic landmark, fully restored and shining proudly in the Newcastle skyline again.
Cllr John McElroy, cabinet member for environment and transport at Gateshead Council, said: “It’s fantastic to have the main contractor appointed so rapidly on a project that means a lot to everyone in the North East.
“The Tyne Bridge is a symbol of our whole region and we look forward to seeing the whole structure rejuvenated and back to its best.”