Somerset

Work begins on Frome bridge named after Jenson Button

Jenson Button
Image caption The bridge will bear a plaque commemorating Button

Work has begun on a bridge named after Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, in his home town of Frome.

Button Bridge will replace the Somerset town's former Bailey Bridge, which was closed because of serious public safety fears.

Mendip District Council, Frome Town Council and British Telecom began the project after the old footbridge shut.

The bridge is due to be completed by January 2011 and open to the public the same month.

A plaque commemorating Button will be installed on the bridge.

Changes to market

Frome councillor Damon Hooton said in January: "The bridge is going to be built anyway so we decided it would be a good idea to name it after him."

Mendip District councillor Ron Forest said: "We are aware that this bridge has been the topic of much speculation and debate in Frome but, following the concerns over public safety, we had no other option than to remove the Bailey Bridge and work with BT to provide an alternative option for them to use."

BT had used the former bridge as a safe crossing for its fibre optic telephone cables.

To enable work to take place, the Wednesday market has had to move some of its stalls on a temporary basis.

Market organisers said it would also be a vehicle-free area up to 1600 BST while work takes place.

The old bridge will be recycled by the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust which plans to use parts of it to build a farm crossing of the waterway.

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