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Doncaster Council to pay £130,000 to pull down footbridge at risk of collapse

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A footbridge at risk of collapse close to Doncaster prison is set to be demolished costing taxpayers £130,000. 

The Newton Ings footbridge will be pulled down after a structural investigation found it was unsafe.

Documents show the council has put aside £130,000 to demolish the 1950s structure which crosses over the River Don.

Despite being closed off since 2011, local authority bosses said vandals have damaged barriers fencing off the bridge and the general public have ‘continuously disregarded’ the closure order.  

In 2016, the council secured funding from the Sheffield City Region to repair the bridge but when the contract went out to tender, bosses said they were being priced more than the available funds.

Another inspection found the bridge as ‘significantly worse’ with the supports starting to break up behind them stone work.

It added that any prolonged period of rainfall along with a rise in the river level could result in collapse.

Doncaster Council officer Stephen Pearce said: “Previous inspections have recorded the footbridge and its supports show significant and widespread defects which includes cracking  to beams and extensive concrete spalling and reinforcement corrosion.

“These defects resulted in the footbridge being closed to the public in December 2011 pending obtaining funding to repair or replace it. In the six and a half years since its closure the public have continuously disregarded the closure order and any physical barriers installed.

“Plastic barriers and herras fencing have been thrown into the river and a more robust system of palisade fencing has also been dismantled by the public in order to gain access.

“In view of the serious and increasing nature of deterioration of the footbridge and an inability to prevent its use, it is strongly recommend that it the footbridge and the failing abutment is demolished at the earliest opportunity.”