Engineers faced the delicate task of removing a footbridge over part of the River Soar yesterday.
We temporarily removed White Horse Bridge in Birstall so it can be taken away and repainted.
The bridge has been removed in order to avoid any paint getting into the water, polluting the river and potentially harming the wildlife that lives there.
As the bridge, which crosses a backwater of the River Soar, is a well-used route into Watermead Park the Trust has installed a temporary bridge to allow people across in the meantime.
A 100 tonne crane lifted the bridge from its existing position and onto a lorry which took it away to specialist painting contractors in near Doncaster. The works will involve blasting it with high pressure grit to remove the old paint before a new coat is applied. After some minor repairs the new coat of paint should protect the bridge for the next 25 years. The project is being carried out by the Trust’s main contractor Kier.
Tim Brownrigg, senior project manager for the Trust, said; “This is quite a delicate operation and not quite as simple as giving your front door a fresh coat of paint.
“The River Soar is home to a wide variety of wildlife and in recent decades water quality has improved to such an extent that otters have been spotted in the heart of the city. It’s our job to protect the ecology of the river and to ensure that it remains a special place for people and wildlife.
“That’s why we’re going to the extent of removing the bridge so that we can prevent any nasty stuff getting into the water. Once finished the bridge will be put safely back in place making the area look a lot smarter for all the local people who use it every day.”
The works, which are expected to be completed in around six weeks, may disrupt use of the river, towpath and the bottom of White Horse Lane at some times for safety reasons but it is expected that the routes will remain open during the works.