Swindon-based construction firm Beard has been appointed as main contractor for the replacement toll houses project on the Clifton Suspension bridge.
Beard was awarded the contract by the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust.
The company will seek to replace existing 1950s toll booths on the Clifton side of the bridge and the 1970s addition to the original toll houses on the Leigh Woods side of the bridge.
Original Victorian toll houses on the Leigh Woods approach of the bridge will also be refurbished as part of the works.
Beard regional director Mike Hedges said: “We will be working closely with the [Clifton Suspension Bridge] Trust, local authorities and the community to minimise disruption to bridge users during the project.”
Bridge master Trish Johnson added: “This is an exciting project that will both improve the setting of the bridge and provide better working conditions for our attendants, who do a fantastic job as curators of the bridge, round the clock and in all weathers. The build will however be a challenging time for pedestrians and traffic.
“We will do everything we can to help minimise the impact on users and our neighbours during the construction period and ask everyone to bear with us over the coming months.”
Construction started on a seven-month building programme this week, with completion scheduled for Summer 2019.
The first major milestone for the works is set to be the demolition of the existing toll houses which is due to take place over the weekend of 19/20 January 2019.
During the construction period, works will be phased around peak commuter periods to minimise traffic disruption.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge and engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the 153-year old structure is Grade I-listed structure.
Assisted with funding from Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), construction of the bridge was completed five years after the renowned civil engineer died, as the result of pressure from members of the ICE who believed it “a fitting monument to their late friend and colleague”.
The bridge spans the Avon Gorge and River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. It weighs an impressive 1,500t, spans 234m and sits 81m above the water below at high tide. It is made up of 3,500 load bearing bolts and vast chains that stretch 20 miles underground.