Friday, 17 November 2017

Painting the North Bridge - correct, I said the North Bridge

Following a query from a constituent I have obtained some information which may be of interest to others.  I will give the full text below but the summary headlines are:
  • A full refurbishment. of the North Bridge is due to start in 2018
  • The structural steelwork was last fully painted in 1933
  • Localised parts of the structural steelwork appear to have been painter on occasions since then
  • The non structural facade was last painted in its distinctive colours  in 1990
The main structural steelwork on North Bridge was last fully painted in 1933 as part of a major refurbishment of the structure.  This was in response to a detailed examination of the bridge which identified corroded steelwork and a general breakdown of the original protective coating.  Main steelwork may also have been repainted in localised areas in 1949 and 1961 but the bridge records are not clear on this.
The decorative, non-structural, cast iron façade elements (i.e. those currently painted blue, grey, red, gold) were last painted in 1990 at the same time as the parapets were being replaced for safety reasons.  I understand that the reason for painting these elements at that time was both (i) in response to the condition of the paint system and the underlying cast iron and (ii) following an offer from the Scottish Development Agency to assist in funding the painting, and floodlighting, of the structure.  It is my understanding that point (ii) above led to the adoption of the current decorative paint colour scheme for aesthetic reasons, in recognition of the bridge’s prominent location.
We are currently in the pre-construction stage of a project comprising a full refurbishment of the North Bridge, which is intended to commence on site in summer 2018, lasting approximately two years.  The repainting of all structural steelwork and the decorative, non-structural, cast iron façade elements will be undertaken as part of that project.

Departing from convention, I know that North Bridge is not inn the Southside/Newington ward but I know some residents will be interested - hence the post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this information Cameron. I will let the researcher who asked me about this know of your findings. I have always meant to ask the Council if the buddleia which adorns the parapets is left as a kind of floral decoration or if is difficult to remove because of safety considerations!

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