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Campus bridge deteriorating

Potential dangers found in the structure of Vanbrugh Bridge have led the University to begin proceedings to have it replaced in its entirety (Thumbnail credit Vanbrugh bridge is due to be replaced by the end of this year after it was found to be structurally unsound. Photo: Peter Iveson)

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Potential dangers found in the structure of Vanbrugh Bridge have led the University to begin proceedings to have it replaced in its entirety.

The bridge connects the south side of campus to Vanbrugh and the north. A survey by the global engineering firm Arup carried out in November found that the 45-year old structure was suffering from a number of "significant defects."

The bridge already has scaffolding along its length on both sides due to the severity of the corrosion of its railings. Arup's report concluded that the inevitability of its future deterioration means that the University should "urgently consider" the demolition of the structure.

The temporary scaffolding has been in place since 2006 but the severity of the structural deterioration has forced the University to commission plans for a replacement bridge which have been submitted to York City Council.

Tim Ngwena, YUSU President, said that the plans were "a welcomed renovation" and the long-term benefits of which he hopes will be recognized as "a welcomed change to campus life."

Sam Briggs, a first-year English student, also commented: "It will be good for the image of the University to replace the older, utilitarian structures like that with something more modern and in-keeping with the image of a modern university."

The bridge provides an essential link between the north and south sides of Heslington West meaning scheduling the time when it could be replaced is a difficult task.

The University has said that this should be completed before the end of the calendar year, although the Council has yet to approve the plans for a new bridge which will include seating and a canopy if affordable.

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