Tyne & Wear

'Vital' Newburn Bridge repairs to take up to two months

Newburn Bridge Image copyright Newcastle City Council
Image caption Newburn Bridge has been reopened to pedestrians and cyclists

Repairs to allow vehicles to cross a bridge damaged when a water main burst could take up to two months.

Newburn Bridge had been closed off since the pipe burst on Monday, shooting water metres into the sky and leaving parked cars submerged.

It has now been opened to pedestrians but cars will have to follow a "long diversion", the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

The 120-year-old bridge has been dubbed a "vital" link in Newcastle.

Residents from 20 homes close to the bridge connecting Newburn and Blaydon were evacuated as emergency services rushed to the scene of the burst pipe at rush-hour on Monday morning.

Engineers from Newcastle City Council and Northumbrian Water have completed their inspections and said the damage could take up to two months to repair.

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Media captionFlooding caused by burst water pipe in Newburn

Councillor Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality at Newcastle City Council, said the council and Northumbrian Water are working to get the bridge "fully operational" as soon as possible.

She said she appreciated that the closure of the bridge "creates a long diversion" and asked motorists to "bear with us".

The Environment Agency was also called to the scene of the "catastrophic burst" and used two high volume pumps to clear the water.

Northumbrian Water network services manager Andrew Blakemore apologised and said excavation work will be needed so pipes can be properly repaired.

Cyclists wishing to use the bridge are asked to dismount and walk across the temporary pedestrian bridge.

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