"Major repairs" for Clifton Suspension Bridge towers

Clifton Suspension Bridge Image copyright PA
Image caption The bridge will be encased in scaffolding for two summers while the repairs are carried out

A "major operation" to restore two stone towers which support the Clifton Suspension Bridge has been announced.

A detailed inspection of the Grade I listed structure revealed both towers' walls were in need of repairs.

Their masonry will be cleaned and repointed and the roofs, drainage and access ladders will be repaired.

Work on the Clifton tower will start in March and is due to be complete in October. The Leigh Woods tower will follow in 2016.

Bridge master David Anderson said repairs were made to the red sandstone abutments supporting both towers between 2010 and 2012.

"It has now become a high priority to tackle the towers," he said.

The work involves erecting scaffolding around the towers and installing protective sheeting to prevent debris and dust contaminating the Avon Gorge below.

The bridge will be closed to traffic and cyclists from 08:00 GMT to 18:00 GMT on the weekends of the 14 and 15 March and the 21 and 22 March, to allow scaffolding works to begin.

One footway will remain open for pedestrian use only.

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