POT HOLES are appearing on the road at Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge, just six weeks after yet another £20,000 was spent resurfacing the increasingly dilapidated vital gateway into Frodsham.

British Waterways have told concerned residents it will be at least another two years before major repairs begin on the shabby 70-year-old structure which carries the A56 over the Weaver Navigation, and is used by an average 20,000 vehicles a day, including hundreds of heavy goods wagons.

County Highways Engineer, Chris Lowe, said the bridge was now in such a bad state that he was “not surprised” the new road surface laid last month was already cracking up.

“We're still facing the same problems with the steel plates under the bridge deck moving,” said Mr Lowe.

“We can only lay 27mm of asphalt whenever we resurface because any extra would increase the weight of the bridge and it wouldn't be able to swing.

“We have to keep the surface safe and are spending between £20,000 and £30,000 on the bridge road every year. Three times over the past 15 years we have done major resurfacing and a lot of patching up as well, and it's very frustrating.

British Waterways Wales and Border Counties General Manager, Julie Sharman, said

She said this was the first phase of a planned programme of repairs and refurbishment was “essential to extend the working lifespan of this vital arterial road link, and ensure the bridge remains safe and accessible well into the future.”

Repair of the main bridge structure was currently planned between 2011 and 2013, said Ms Sharman. She said: “It is a complex project and consultations with both residents and waterway customers is necessary.”