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Work to begin on £8.5m refurbishment of Rochester's historic bridges

Three of Rochester’s bridges are set to benefit from a multi-million pound makeover with the start of a major refurbishment programme.

FM Conway has been awarded the £8.5 million contract and will begin work early next month.

The extensive refurbishment project will see the Old Bridge, New Bridge and Service Bridge, as well as the areas of Rochester and Strood Esplanades owned by the Rochester Bridge Trust, given a complete overhaul.

The Rochester Bridge
The Rochester Bridge

Bridge clerk Sue Threader said: “The Trust regularly carries out routine maintenance work, keeping the bridges clean and making minor repairs.

"This project is an opportunity to go beyond the day-to-day, tackling larger items before they become problems and generally improving the condition of the bridges for years to come.

“It’s a bit like the schedule of services you might have with a car – you routinely keep it clean, change the oil and replace the bulbs, but after a large number of miles, the timing belt needs to be replaced. We are reaching the point now where the Trust’s three bridges at Rochester need some more major work.

“FM Conway was selected for this project following a rigorous competitive tendering process.

"The Trust was impressed by the commitment of the company to delivering high quality work while arranging the works to minimise disruption as far as possible.”

A site compound will be established on the Strood Esplanade.

The refurbishment will be carried out in phases, tackling the New Bridge works first, then the Service Bridge and then the Old Bridge.

It ends with repair and complete refurbishment of the section of Rochester Esplanade from the bridges to the Castle Gate.

The cost of the project is being covered by the trust.

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