A major refurbishment of Durham’s Old Elvet Bridge is to start next week following completion of work on the city’s North Road.

Durham County Council is to begin work on the bridge across the River Wear, a Grade One Listed Scheduled Ancient Monument.  

Both schemes are part of the council’s £1.84m investment in roads and footpaths in the city centre over two years.

The work at Old Elvet will include the waterproofing of the bridge deck, realignment and replacement of the paving and the creation of loading bays on the approaches to the bridge.

A layer of specialised concrete will be placed underneath the paving to provide a waterproof membrane, in order to protect the bridge for future generations.

Existing paving materials will be re-used where possible.

The phasing of the scheme has been carefully planned to enable major events such as Durham’s Lumiere Festival in mid-November and the Miners’ Gala to proceed as planned

Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times but vehicular access will need to be suspended occasionally for health and safety reasons.

Discussions are underway with local businesses to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

John Reed, the council’s head of technical services, said: “Old Elvet Bridge is an important historic structure in Durham City and this work will ensure it is safeguarded for future generations.

“This scheme together with the recent works at North Road will aim to significantly improve the appearance of the area and make the bridge safer and more accessible.  

“We appreciate there will be some disruption but we have planned the work to keep it to a minimum and we’d like to thank people in advance for their patience and understanding.”