A report has been published setting out the options to secure the future of Hull’s most historic bridge.
The Grade II-listed Sculcoates Bridge on Chapman Street, which opened in 1874, has been closed to motorists since April 2020, after an inspection found that its condition had deteriorated to the point that it was no longer safe to carry motor vehicles.
The report which was published today, includes six options to either refurbish and reopen, restrict and monitor, close and conserve, relocate and replace, remove, or an extended refurbishment.
The preferred option is the extended refurbishment, which would see the local authority renovating the structure and bringing the bridge back into service for motorists. This option would also include measures to prohibit certain vehicles from using the bridge such as installing a height restriction, to protect the bridge from overloading and preserve the life expectancy of the bridge with weight limit alternatives of 3 tonnes or 7.5 tonnes.
This option would also allow the bridge to be used by pedestrians, cyclists and light goods vehicles, but reduce the layout to a single lane regulated by amending the existing traffic lights at the Cleveland Street junction. Dedicated cycle lanes may also be installed.
Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment, regeneration and planning, said: “Due to its age, the bridge was not designed to accommodate the sheer volume and types of modern motor vehicles.
“We commissioned a report from a bridge technical specialist who looked at all options for potential repairs, strengthening, refurbishment or replacement.
“As with any listed structure, it will take time to progress with any significant changes as approval from the relevant authorities will have to be sought every step of the way.
“The costs will also be significant, with the preferred option coming in at £7m which we will endeavour to support. The cost of a new bridge would come in at £32m.”
The report will be discussed at Hull City Council’s Infrastructure and Energy Overview and Scrutiny Commission before a decision is made at a Cabinet on Monday 22 February.