DISRUPTION is likely to hamper motorists who use Folly Bridge when further critical work to repair one of its arches takes place later this year.

The county council wants to undertake £150,000 work in September and has filed for planning permission for the Grade II listed bridge.

The work will mean temporary traffic lights are installed to control one-way traffic on Abingdon Road, which passes over the bridge.

Maintenance is likely to last between three and four weeks.

The council had wanted to carry out work to the bridge's fourth arch – along with the bridge’s first three which pass over the River Thames – in 2017.

It completed work to the first three but postponed work to the fourth. That cost about £700,000 nearly two years ago.

In documents submitted to the city council earlier this week, county council engineers state: “It was originally intended the area of deteriorated stonework would be repaired at the same time as the 2017 work.

"It was proposed that the stonework be partially removed and replaced from beneath using half depth facing pinned into the original stonework.

“However, when works started in this area it was found that the barrel had deteriorated full depth and the proposed repair detail was not feasible."

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The work will be completed by the county council's contractor, Skanska.

The engineers' paper continues: “The area was covered with mesh to prevent material falling on to river users and to prevent bats roosting in the arch barrel.

“Repair to this area was postponed and is the subject of this listed building application.”

A bridge of some description has been in place where Folly Bridge stands since about 1085.

A drawbridge gateway was built by King Stephen after he captured Oxford from Queen Matilda in 1142.

Between 1150 and 1200 a chamber over the gateway was used as an observatory by Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon. The bridge was known as Friars Bridge for three centuries.

In 1628, a dung cart crashed through the drawbridge, leaving it out of action for months.

Forty years later, the whole bridge was believed to be dangerous.

Tolls were introduced across it for the first time and it was widened so carts could be pulled.

By July 1815, an Act of Parliament allowed ‘the taking down and rebuilding of the whole or part of Folly Bridge, otherwise [known as] Friars Bridge’. Parliamentarians heard it had become ‘ancient, greatly decayed and narrow’.

This year, the council wants to replaced about 15 worn limestone blocks and replace them with 23 new ones.

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The council thinks the old limestone was mined in Headington. The new blocks will be Stoke Ground Limestone because of its greater durability in frosty conditions.

The same kind of stone was used when the council did its previous works in 2017.