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When an historic Grade II listed bridge near Ingatestone had to be closed to traffic following a vehicle strike, Essex Highways structural engineers swung into action and repaired its parapet in speedy time, despite the requirement to source matching bricks and lime mortar.

Buttsbury Bridge, which spans the River Wid, was hit on Friday 13 November. Essex Police closed the bridge for safety reasons. 

The structures team had to source a special hand-made red stock brick. Structures manager, Clive Woodruff said: “Because the bridge is so old – the first record of a structure at the site dates from 1519 – county planning regulations say only a closely matched brick can be used.

“We sourced London Clays, which are dug from seams used almost continually since Tudor times. Every single brick is hand-crafted, using traditional methods of making and drying, and fired in a coal burning kiln which gives a distinctive finish and blends well with the originals.”

The repair work needed to be completed rapidly to avoid clashing with Highways England road closures planned for the A12 – part of the diversion route imposed following the bridge strike. The final coping stones, salvaged from the parapet, were laid on Friday 27 November.