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New-look Iron Bridge slowly being revealed - with pictures

By Rory Smith | Ironbridge | Attractions | Published:

Work has begun to unveil the iconic Iron Bridge's new look ahead of its grand reopening.

Shropshire's Iron Bridge can now be seen in its fullest since work begun to renovate it - and has been returned to its original colour – a rusty red/brown.

It comes after forensic investigation revealed the landmark was a dark red-brown when it was first unveiled to the public in 1779.

Following months of work, the viewing platform has been dismantled and work is ongoing to remove the construction that has encapsulated the bridge for the past year.

Railings on either side of the bridge have been revealed for the first time since the renovation and Severn Trent Water is now completing work to upgrade the water mains surrounding the area.

Following the completion of the work, English Heritage will announce the official bridge opening.

Shropshire councillor Nicola Lowery, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, said: "Myself, many local residents and businesses are so looking forward to seeing the Iron Bridge again after all this time and for the grand unveiling to see the bridge restored to its former glory.

"The end is now in sight as we see the railing on the west and east side revealed for the first time.

"I would like to thank all the volunteers and fantastic team that have been involved in the viewing platform over the summer as it is their passion for the project and knowledge of the local area that made such a positive contribution and made it such a success.

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Scaffolding starts to be removed from the Iron Bridge after months of restoration

"The Iron Bridge is recognised around the world and it's so exciting to think we are now only weeks away from seeing the bridge return as an iconic symbol of the industrial revolution.

"I know that English Heritage, Taziker Industrial and all of the contractors are doing all they can to get the conservation work completed at the earliest opportunity."

The unveiling is set take place later this year, with a date yet to be confirmed for the grand opening.

The work is being done as part of a £3.6 million conservation project by English Heritage.

It is the single largest conservation project undertaken by the charity since 2015. The work was started after extensive surveys of the area revealed that the historic structure was 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. The project began in autumn 2017.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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