Page last updated at 00:01 GMT, Saturday, 21 February 2009

Repair work for historic bridge

Gunners Pool Bridge
The bridge will be closed to the public while repairs take place

Modern engineering techniques will be used to repair an iconic 19th Century bridge in County Durham.

The Gunners Pool Bridge is one of a number spanning a limestone gorge at the Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Peterlee.

The impressive metal structure was erected in 1877 but has since corroded and is unsafe for use.

As part of a 100,000 project damaged sections will be replaced and the existing framework strengthened.

The bridge was originally designed and commissioned by the Rev John Burdon whose family owned Castle Eden Dene and turned it into a Victorian pleasure ground.

The reserve is now managed by Natural England in partnership with Peterlee Town Council, Easington District Council and Durham County Council.

Martyn Howat, Natural England's regional director for the North East, said: "I know that many local people would have been sad to see this iconic feature removed from Castle Eden Dene, and I am pleased that a solution that will retain the bridge in its present location has been found.

"The end result will provide a safer and more enjoyable experience for visitors."

Work on the project was due to start in February.

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