Both towers at Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge are to be restored under a ‘high priority’ repair project.
Repairs to the walls of the two towers will take place over the next two years, during which time the masonry will be cleaned and repainted and the roof structure, drainage and access ladders repaired.
An inspection of the Grade I listed structure some years ago revealed the towers and sandstone abutments were both in need of maintenance. Now that the abutments have been repaired, restoration on the towers is said to have become a ‘high priority’.
Work will be undertaken on each tower in turn, with efforts on the Clifton tower taking place from March to October and developments at the Leigh Woods tower following in 2016.
Bridge master, David Anderson, said: ‘The most efficient way to go about these works is to erect scaffolding around the towers. This in itself is a major operation, but will provide safe conditions for stone masons to carry out their work, which has to be of the highest quality on this Grade I listed structure.
‘It also enables protective sheeting to be installed, to prevent debris and dust causing any danger to people using the bridge or contamination of the Avon Gorge below - a Site of Special Scientific Interest.’
He added that it would be ‘unfortunate that the bridge will not be looking its best during the next two summers due to the scaffolding obscuring one of the towers,’ but added that ‘works must be done during the summer months because warm temperatures are needed for the repainting and painting works’.