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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Work starts on bridge facelift
Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge
The bridge is painted every eight years using the same blue colour
Work has started on repainting one of Teesside's most well known landmarks.

Middlesbrough's Transporter Bridge - which featured in BBC's television show Auf Wiedersehen Pet - is getting a 500,000 facelift by a team of abseiling decorators.

Contractors are repainting the structure and as part of the work the trolley rails, which carry the gondola across the Tees, have to be removed.

Middlesbrough Council has said it will decide next week if the planned three-week closure period needs to be extended.

It's a job which needs doing every eight years to keep the bridge looking good
Middlesbrough Council spokesman

A council spokesman said: "The Transporter Bridge is a local landmark and is synonymous with Teesside.

"The decorators will be working flat out for 16 weeks and the bridge will only be closed for three.

"It's a job which needs doing every eight years to keep the bridge looking good."

The painting work, costing about 350,000, is expected to be competed by November.

The bridge opened in 1911 and cost nearly 90,000. It was awarded Grade II listed status in 1985.

It was made famous in the last series of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, which followed the escapades of Geordie building workers Oz, Dennis, Neville and their friends.

The storyline centred around the bridge being dismantled piece by piece and shipped to Arizona, in the USA.

The next repainting is scheduled for 2011, in time for the bridge's centenary birthday celebrations.

Tees bridge cash criticised
24 Sep 02  |  England
Bridge not under threat, pet
13 May 02  |  England

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