A HISTORIC Dorset bridge which was restored over ten moths after partially collapsing is in the running for an international award.

Earlier this year residents voted for the repairs to Grade II listed Old Wool Bridge, which featured in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, in the Institute of Civil Engineers' (ICE) People's Choice Award in the south west region.

After winning the title, the bridge – which is described by Historic England described as one of the best examples of an Elizabethan bridge in Dorset – is in the mix with nine other restoration projects from around the world. They will all battle for the title of ICE People's Choice Award 2019.

Dorset Council portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, Cllr Ray Bryan, said: "Wool Old Bridge is the best-preserved Elizabethan bridge in Dorset and we’re incredibly proud of the repair work, which has taken the structure off Historic England’s At-Risk Register.

“We were blown away by the response from residents earlier this year which gained the scheme recognition by engineering professionals in the south west.

“We’ve now got a chance to show the world that Dorset is not only a wonderful place to live or visit, but that we have many skilled and experienced public and private sector specialists working here.”

Repairs on the bridge were finished in December last year.

It is unclear why the bridge collapsed, however it was reported that a crack in the bridge had developed over the Christmas period in 2017.

A ten-month project employed specialist equipment and professional expertise from the public and private sector to ensure a sympathetic and long-lasting repair.

This was after emergency stabilisation works saw gabion bags of stone put in place.

Following the completion of the restoration in 2018, Dorset Highways contract manager Jack Wiltshire said: "We’re incredibly proud of the work we have carried out on Wool Bridge and we’re pleased to have worked with individuals who are experts in their field. This partnership approach has ensured a seamless and long-lasting repair to this much-loved bridge.”

n Visit www.ice.org.uk/peopleschoice to cast your vote.

Voting opens at 10am on Monday, September 9 and everyone voting is in with a chance of winning an Echo Dot.