£640,000 needed to repair bridges along two former Norfolk railway lines
PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 January 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
A footbridge in Hoveton could be removed as part of a £640,000 scheme to repair several bridges on two former railway lines.
Inspections carried out on Marriott’s Way and the Bure Valley Railway revealed “serious defects” with bridges along both routes.
A report which will go before Broadland District Council’s cabinet next week states that six of the structures will require work in the next five years.
It suggests the Hoveton Footbridge, which provides safe access to the centre of the village from the main line station, needs to be removed and replaced due to its rapid deterioration.
The work is estimated to cost £120,000, with the bridge’s removal costing £10,000.
If the bridge is not replaced it would leave Bure Valley train and footpath users without a safe walking route to Hoveton, the report said.
Urgent repairs are also required on a bridge along Marriott’s Way, over the River Wensum, in Attlebridge, costing £150,000.
Council officers warned that if waterproofing and repainting work is not carried out in the next two years, costs could “significantly” increase.
The report said the structure’s removal would likely cost more than its repair.
Three other bridges along the Bure Valley in Brampton and Coltishall require non-urgent work costing a total of £270,000.
Up to £300,000 has also been requested for various other bridges on both routes which are currently undergoing inspection.
Broadland owns 24 bridges along the former railway lines, which are now popular walking and cycling routes.
The officer’s report said: “Inspection reports received in the last few years have reported serious defects and have recommended major repairs in order to safeguard the bridges into the future.”
Major repairs include re-waterproofing, repair of girders which have rusted, and re-painting iron and steel members to prevent future rusting.
Cabinet members will be asked to increase the budget for major bridge works to £120,000 per annum for the next five years.
Broadland acquired the former Bure Valley railway route from Aylsham to Hoveton in 1989. It also took on various parts of Marriott’s Way, between Drayon and Attlebridge, from 1979 to 1990.