Starting date for repairs to bridge

THE 13th century bridge between Huntingdon and Godmanchester is at last set to be repaired – 20 months after ancient stonework was sent tumbling into the icy waters of the Great Ouse. Expert stonemasons will take four weeks to repair the structure, in man

THE 13th century bridge between Huntingdon and Godmanchester is at last set to be repaired - 20 months after ancient stonework was sent tumbling into the icy waters of the Great Ouse.

Expert stonemasons will take four weeks to repair the structure, in many cases replacing individual stones in their previous locations before they were hit by a lorry in November 2005.

Much of the stone was recovered from the river bed by divers more than a year ago. Since then, Cambridgeshire County Council, which owns the bridge, and English Heritage have been wrangling over the detail of the repair work, which is now due to start on July 16.

Experts pored over old photographs to identify individual stones to go back in their original positions.


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The estimated £15,000 cost of the work, which will be carried out by Longstanton-based specialists Rattee and Kett, will be paid by the lorry driver's insurers.

Scaffolding will be erected on the river bed just upstream of the bridge, with rebuilding work carried out from that side.

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The county council promised disruption to traffic will be minimised, with only delivery of scaffolding and materials interrupting traffic.

All deliveries will be outside peak hours, a council spokesman promised this week.

The Environment Agency, which is responsible for the river, said the work would not affect navigation or the Inland Waterways Association's three-day festival in St Ives over the August Bank Holiday weekend, which is expected to attract 30,000 visitors to the town.

An agency spokesman said discussions were going on about renewing consent to erect scaffolding in the river, which had expired because of the delay to the work.

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