Two historical railway bridges on Dartmoor have received a makeover as part of a £243,000 investment by National Highways Historical Railway Estate (HRE).
Wortha Bridge and Broadpark Road Bridge near Brentor have both received essential attention to ensure they retain their distinct charachters while remaining safe for years to come.
An extensive eight-week schedule of works at Wortha Mill Bridge, which crosses the disused Tavistock to Okehampton Railway line and the River Burn. A well-used footpath runs across the top of the bridge leading to Brent Tor.
The work included masonry repairs, repointing brickwork, removing vegetation and roots that can damage the bridges and the installation of fencing.
Anchors were also installed, tying together the spandrels (the sides of the bridge) and the arches in order to limit further fracturing and movement between them.
Ecology surveys were also undertaken and as a result enhancements such as bat and bird boxes will be installed at the sites later in the year.
At Broadpark Road Bridge, which formed part of the former Launceston to Plymouth railway line, a month-long programme included repairing defective areas of stonework, re-pointing the wing-walls at either side of the bridge and extensive vegetation clearance.
HRE Civil engineer Matthew Irwin said: “We are delighted to have completed maintenance work on another three structures in Devon which will help to keep them in good order for years to come.
“All our structures are inspected yearly by a team of skilled examiners and where there are known to be rare species present, they will be accompanied by qualified ecologists.
“These examinations allow us to plan work well in advance and ensure that the most critical tasks are prioritised. They also allows us to programme ecological surveys to ensure that no harm is caused to the wildlife as well as suggesting measures that enhance the local biodiversity.”
Also receiving essential attention was Castle Bridge, Exeter.