REFURBISHING the rusty old Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge could cost more than £5 million - and the long-awaited project will not be tackled for at least another two years.
This is British Waterways' latest report to residents who are concerned that the shabby 70-year-old structure spanning the River Weaver has become an 'eyesore.'
Residents in neighbouring Sutton Weaver village have lobbied British Waterways for years to repair the bridge.
However, Frodsham Town Council were shocked to hear it may be even six years or longer before BW can fund the work.
Julie Sharman, general manager of British Waterways Wales and Borders Areas, which covers most of Cheshire, updated councillors.
She said the bridge was structurally sound and was due to be refurbished under BW's five to 10- year delivery programme.
She rejected claims that BW had neglected the structure, arguing they had been underfunded by the government and was struggling to clear a £40m backlog of repairs to bridges.
She said: 'We've had to undertake more urgent work on other bridges and, unfortunately for Frodsham, Sutton Weaver is the last bridge to be done on the Weaver.
'Even if the decision was taken then to do the refurbishment and any strengthening needed - which could cost more than £5 million - it could take two years to deliver the contract and start work.'
Building a new moveable bridge would cost even more, added Ms Sharman.
Highways engineers for the county council, which works in partnership with British Waterways, reported they were investigating more durable new road surfacing materials for use on the bridge.