THREE landmark bridges over the River Wye could be out of use in ten years if they are not significantly upgraded.
That’s according to minutes from a Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) committee, whose members endorsed a project to restore the bridges.
Back in the summer, they heard Redbrook, Lydbrook and the Wireworks Bridges at Tintern had been a concern for a number of years, and now action is being taken to by engineers to assess their condition.
The Wye Valley AONB has commissioned Opus International Consultants to study the former railway bridges.
Redbrook and Lydbrook were designed to carry locomotives until the closure of the railways in the early 1960s. The Wireworks Bridge, Tintern, was used to transport materials between the Lower Wireworks and the Wye Valley Railway, closing in the early 20th century.
Since then they have been predominantly used as public footpaths with Redbrook and Lydbrook Bridges also providing important crossing points for the Wye Valley Walk regional trail.
All three are key crossing points for thousands of walkers using the Wye Valley Walk.
The study will report on ways the bridges could be enhanced to provide safe crossing for wheelchair users, horse riders and cyclists as well as suggesting general conservation measures.
Wye Valley AONB Development Officer Andrew Nixon, said: “They are significant landmarks, heritage monuments and vital crossing points that link together communities, counties and countries. These studies will tell us what conservation work they require to maintain them in the long term and how access can be improved.“ The studies are being carried out in partnership with the Environment Agency (EA), Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Monmouthshire Council andAmeywith funding from the Environment Agency, the Wye Valley AONB Sustainable Development Fund, Monmouthshire RDP, Vital Herefordshire and the Wye Valley Walk Partnership.