Re­pair work starts on world’s first iron bridge

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS -

VI­TAL re­pair work is start­ing on the world’s first iron bridge in a £3.6 mil­lion project to con­serve “one of the won­ders of the mod­ern world”, English Her­itage said.

The Iron Bridge was erected in 1779 over the River Sev­ern in Shrop­shire, in the “cra­dle of the In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion”, the first sin­gle span arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron and mark­ing a turn­ing point de­scribed as the “great-great grand­fa­ther” of to­day’s rail­ways and sky­scrapers.

Sur­veys have shows the Iron Bridge is under threat from crack­ing due to stresses in the iron­work dat­ing from the orig­i­nal con­struc­tion, ground move­ment over the cen­turies and an earth­quake in the 19th cen­tury which pushed the two sides of the gorge it spans closer to­gether.

Spe­cial­ist con­ser­va­tors work­ing for English Her­itage be­gin vi­tal re­pair work on Iron Bridge, over the River Sev­ern in Shrop­shire in Bri­tish en­gi­neer­ing.

As work starts to pre­serve the Iron Bridge, whose iron­work is now crack­ing, English Her­itage re­vealed a one mil­lion euro (£880,000) do­na­tion from a Ger­man foun­da­tion to­wards the restora­tion project.

The char­ity, which looks af­ter the bridge, is also launch­ing a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to help save the struc­ture, which it

With major scaf­fold­ing in place around the bridge, English Her­itage will clean, con­serve, re­pair and where nec­es­sary re­in­force the iron ra­di­als and braces hold­ing it to­gether, deck plates and wedges and the main iron arch.

Peo­ple who want to do­nate to the cam­paign can do so at: http:// www.crowd­fun­der.co.uk/pro­jec­t­iron-bridge

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