Work on £1m Newhaven swing bridge project begins

Image caption The Newhaven swing bridge was built in 1974

A £1m project to refurbish a bridge which forms part of a key coastal route through East Sussex has begun.

The original mechanical and electrical components of the Newhaven swing bridge will be replaced.

The bridge, which is 40 years old, carries traffic on the A259 over the River Ouse.

East Sussex County Council said the work was expected to last until May and would have "little effect" on motorists or marine traffic.

Carl Maynard, council lead member for transport and environment, said: "The reliability of the swing bridge is of paramount importance, both to allow traffic to flow along the main coastal route and for the smooth operation of Newhaven Port.

"The bridge is 40 years old and while it is rigorously maintained, the electrical and mechanical systems are outdated and need replacing."

The swing bridge opens about 20 times a month at high tide, when its deck swings open 90 degrees, for about 20 minutes, to allow marine traffic to pass up and down the river.

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