£45k revamp for iconic footbridge

White Bridge, AlfristonAN ICONIC bridge which crosses the River Cuckmere in East Sussex is in line for a major refurbishment.

East Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority are investing £45,000 into carrying out essential structural repair work on White Bridge, in Alfriston.

The bridge is an important access point for local residents as well as walkers using the South Downs Way, which crosses over the bridge.

The work, which is due to begin during the week commencing Monday, June 2 2014 and to last around six weeks, will involve replacing wooden decking and side rails and repainting the side rails and metal beams.

Walkers will be able to cross the river via a temporary bridge being erected alongside scaffolding for the repair works, but there will be no access across the bridge for around two weeks while the scaffolding is being erected.

Meanwhile, there will also be a short closure of the bridge once work has been completed, to allow for safe removal of scaffolding.

Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment, said: “White Bridge is a key link in one of the most important walking routes through East Sussex, so it’s vital that it’s maintained in a state which keeps it safe for people to cross.

“While we will have to close the bridge for a short period, we’d ask people to bear with us while this essential work is carried out, which will ensure people can continue to use the bridge, and enjoy the beautiful setting it runs through, for years to come.”

The repair work has been timed to avoid the winter months, when the river is at risk of flooding, and to minimise impact on wildlife, particularly eels and fish which use it as a migratory route.

Signs are being erected around the bridge, including maps showing diversion routes, while updates will also be posted on the rights of way section of the county council website at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/rightsofway