A POPULAR Grade II-listed bridge spanning the River Wye finally reopened last week following months of refurbishment works.

The reopening of the Wireworks Bridge between Tintern and Brockweir was delayed earlier this year as works continued, but the full-scale restoration was finally completed on Friday (May 26).

Business owners had hoped the bridge would open for pedestrians and cyclists in time for the start of the 2023 tourist season, with the bridge, which has featured in Netflix series Sex Education, a popular village attraction.

The lifting of the closure for small vehicles, which began near two years ago in August 2021, is also good news for more than 10 landowners who live in Tintern and use the bridge to access their land on the Forest side of the river.

Investigations by Gloucestershire County Council and Monmouthshire Council, which jointly own the bridge, in early 2021 found that the bridge was in a poor condition and in need of significant repairs.

Refurbishment got underway last August and the bridge has been closed fully since then.

Work carried out included a full deck replacement, removing the old timber structure and replacing it with “much lighter” steel beams and “easier to maintain” lightweight wooden deck boards. 

The councils say “the site’s heritage has been retained” by keeping the anti-tank foundations on the Gloucestershire side, which date back to wartime, along with other historic features of the bridge.

Local Gloucestershire County Councillor Chris McFarling said: “I’m pleased the bridge has been reopened and I’d like to thank residents for their understanding and patience during the closure.

“Its reopening is great news for the local community and will encourage more visitors to the area, boosting tourism and the local economy.”