CLEANING work on The Bridge in Taunton’s town centre is set to begin later this month to “freshen up” the historic structure.

Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) has “committed financial resources towards cleaning of the ornamental sections of the bridge”, which is owned by Somerset County Council (SCC). 

In January, the County Gazette reported that The Bridge will undergo significant refurbishment work following a social media campaign to smarten it up.

SCC has sent engineers to look at the structure and said it will “soon” reveal details of the planned “major refurbishment”. 

The “interim” cleaning work is expected to begin in just under two weeks. 

A spokesperson for Somerset West and Taunton Council said: “SWT has committed financial resources towards cleaning of the ornamental sections of the bridge as part of the wider programme of works in partnership with SCC and in line with our environmental and leisure improvements.

“The council expects to start this work on May 17.”

Somerset County Gazette: Cleaning work on The Bridge is expected to start on May 17. Picture: Steve RichardsonCleaning work on The Bridge is expected to start on May 17. Picture: Steve Richardson

A spokesperson for SCC said: “Our team is looking at a major package of refurbishment works following testing by our engineers earlier this year.

“These works will include general repairs and refurbishment including repainting the structure.

“Clearly any painting works will need to follow structural refurbishment.

“In the interim, as part of our ongoing partnership with Somerset West and Taunton, cleaning of the structure will be carried out shortly to freshen up this key piece of heritage.

“We are grateful to SWT for their assistance with these works.”

Somerset County Gazette: The Bridge, pictured in February 2022. Picture: Steve RichardsonThe Bridge, pictured in February 2022. Picture: Steve Richardson

In 2014, volunteers and members of the former Taunton Deane Council donned high-visibility jackets, mops and brushes to clean the landmark after putting arrangements and safety measures in place with SCC.

The Bridge has been in place since 1894 and was built to replace another structure dating to 1834.