Iconic Chepstow bridge recently painted for £700k begins to show rust

By Nigel Walrond   |   Sports Editor   |
Thursday 6th April 2017 2:13 pm
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RUSTY: The historic bridge at Chepstow is now showing signs of rust. Pictures by Neil Maxfield. ()

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SHOCKED residents are calling for the contractors who painted the Old Wye Bridge to rectify their work after signs of rust emanating just 16 months after it was repainted.

The bridge, which connects Chepstow with Tutshill, was repainted at a cost of around £700,000 and was reopened in December 2015 and is already showing streaks of rust.

Forest resident Neil Maxfield said he was shocked to see the extent of rusting when he photographed the bridge last month.

He said: “When it re-opened in December 2015, it was great to see it gleaming in the winter sunshine. However, less that one month later I noticed some streaks of rust emanating from a couple of bolts. Not a good sign.”

“As a consequence, on March 25 it was a beautiful evening so I decided to take a few photographs of the bridge and was shocked to see the extent of the rusting after only 16 months.”

Mr Maxfield is now calling on the councils of Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire to force their contractors to rectify the problem.

“I discovered that the cost of repainting was £715,544, less £18,000 for over-running the contract.

“Surely, if the bridge has been properly shot blasted and painted with primer, prior to its finishing coat, it wouldn’t be deteriorating so quickly.”

A spokesman for Monmouthshire County Council said: "The recent works conducted on Chepstow’s Old Wye Bridge involved maintenance painting and structural repairs only rather than a full blast clean and repaint contract.

"This concentrated on areas assessed to be in the worst condition where localised blast and repainting was undertaken.

"While the new paint finish was a close match to the existing paint system, the exposed external faces were fully coated with a surface tolerant paint to provide a uniform appearance on the most visual parts of the structure.

“The structure was cleaned but some areas of rust and staining would be still evident. The bridge also has an inherent problem of clay waterproofing which causes the rust-like staining at localised areas due to water seepage.”

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