The bridge was built to carry the road over the railway line in 1896 to replace a level crossing and has been in service ever since until final demolition in 2016.
Originally constructed from stone and steel, it was a credit to the original designers that it was in service for 120 years. However, the environmental damage to the bridge caused by pollution and general wear and tear on the structure by the increase in traffic volumes throughout the 20th Century was its death knell. By the start of the 21st Century it became increasingly clear that the only viable option was to remove the structure, by then only carrying traffic in one direction at a time controlled by traffic lights and after much deliberation work to replace the bridge and reroute the cycle track (once the rail tracks) began in May 2015.
Everything was not plain sailing as over the years there were many services and utilities routed under the bridge and these required to be rerouted and or replaced.
The final phase of the project nears its end and it is expected that the new road access to Villa Real and onwards to Consett will be complete in early December 2016.