Whorlton Bridge News

Whorlton Village Community Association and Village Hall

Information on Whorlton Bridge Refurbishment Project

Durham County Council - Whorlton Bridge Refurbishment Updates

Refurbishment updates and a monthly progress report can be found on the Durham County Council website by clicking the button below.


April 2024

Members of the Whorlton community association have gathered to receive a new projector kindly donated by VolkerLaser, the company in charge of repairing Whorlton Bridge.

As part of their contract with Durham County Council (also represented on the day), VolkerLaser has kindly agreed to help the local community with various projects. The projector, together with a new screen purchased by the association, will now make possible various presentations, film projections, courses, meetings etc... to the benefit and entertainment of the wider village community.

A big thank you to VolkerLaser 🙏

January 2024

VolkerLaser have finished constructing their site compound in spite of having to work in horrendously inclement weather throughout December. They have received approval from Historic England to begin the job of dismantling and repairing the bridge with the scaffolding necessary to do this being installed by the end of January.

The Project Manager, Chris Mc Hutchison said, “We are very excited to finally commence the operational phase of this project” and let’s all hope for better weather moving forward!!

November 2023

The work on the builders compound within the grounds of the Lido is continuing at pace. The actual work on the bridge itself will commence after Christmas and will last some 18 months.

August 2023

It is understood from a reliable source that the Durham County Council and the contractors, Volker Laser are to sign the contract documents by the end of the month and the works are to start on site in September this year. The completion of the works is expected within 18 months.

George Stastny (WWPC Chairman)

February 2023
Update from Durham County Council

Pell Frischmann (Design Consultant) VolkerLaser (Specialist Contractor) and Blackett-Ord Conservation (Accredited Conservation Engineers) continue to work together to determine the requirements and preliminary design for the refurbishment of the bridge including updating of the cost estimates.  This work is programmed to be complete by the end of February and following a review of the proposals will then progress into a detailed design phase which will allow the programme to be finalised early in 2023 with a view for refurbishments to commence in summer 2023.  

We are also currently working with our Contractor to review options for a site compound and working space to help inform the project costings, phasing, and programming.  Whilst much of the work will occur using overhead gantries and be retained within the highway corridor, the linear nature of the site means that we will need to utilise an area adjacent the highway for temporary works, material storage, offices etc.


March 2024 - BRIDGE REPAIR


December 2021

Whorlton Bridge - there continues to be intermittent activity by engineers down on the bridge as they investigate the structure and assess exactly what repairs are going to be needed.

A steelwork contractor, competent in the assessment of historical wrought iron structures, has now been appointed by DCC and they began work in mid September. They will design a series of temporary works systems to allow separation of the chain links and hangers in various locations for further inspection and assessment. It is a critical requirement of this phase to understand how fatigue has compromised aspects of the structure over its 190-year life.

The investigation and testing contract will be developed alongside an accredited Conservation Engineer who will assist in ensuring the methods proposed are acceptable to Historic England.

Reopening is still expected to be in March 2023.
See: www.durham.gov.uk/whorltonbridge

Letter from the MPs office (Dehenna Davison) regarding the repair of Whorlton’s Bridge

Dear Mr Stastny,

I hope you are well. I have received the following update from Durham County Council in regard to the programme of repairs at Whorlton Bridge:
The final testing and investigation report from Taziker Industrial Ltd was received in August 2022. This has formed the basis of an assessment review by Consultants Pell Frishcmann, validating previous condition and geometric assumptions made as part of the initial assessment work. 

This review by Pell Frischmann has highlighted two areas of Taziker’s work that has been inconclusive, therefore, further testing and investigation is to be progressed over the next two months subject to agreement from Historic England, with results used to draw a conclusion to the refurbishment preliminary design process.

Durham County Council are engaged with VolkerLaser as a Principal Contractor to deliver the refurbishment scheme design and delivery alongside designers Pell Frischmann.

The requirements and preliminary design for the refurbishment of the bridge are now under consideration.

Pell Frischmann, Design Consultant, VolkerLaser (Specialist Contractor) and Blackett-Ord Conservation, Accredited Conservation Engineers, will work together to develop the refurbishment scope of work and methodologies to allow an update of the cost estimates and progression into detailed design. 

The project will progress in accordance with the timeframes stipulated by the Levelling Up Funding with completion due no later than March 2024
I’m pleased that we’re still on track for reopening by early 2024, but please do let me know if you have any other queries.

With every good wish,
James Middleton
Constituency Assistant to Dehenna Davison MP
Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland