A worker narrowly avoided being killed when a piece of the Tees Transporter Bridge fell off, a council has heard.
The iconic crossing, which opened in 1911, has been closed for 16 months due to serious safety concerns.
Middlesbrough councillors were given a report detailing the bridge’s “dangerous state”, which included the near-fatal miss in 2018 and a number of loose cross parts.
The council will soon start a consultation over the bridge’s future.
Worries were raised by a whistleblower last year with concerns wheels, ropes and anchor points were “substantially out of date”.
The report to the corporate audit and affairs committee stated there was “no evidence action was taken by management”, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
The report added: “In 2018, there was a ‘near-miss’ when a support fell from the structure, landing beside a member of bridge staff.
“Although staff claimed that this was reported to management, no action was taken and the Transporter Bridge remained open to the public.”
The GMB union said its members had flagged up how the 109-year-old structure was in a “dangerous state of repair” for years – fearing a “horrific incident” had the union not spoken up.
The report identified a “mostly passive and ineffective management approach to the Transporter Bridge over the previous decade”.
Middlesbrough Council manages the bridge in an agreement with Stockton Council.
Finance director Ian Wright said: “The findings are very serious and worrying to us as a council – they make us ask serious questions of ourselves.”
A review of other council buildings and assets is to be launched to see if fundamental problems exist at other sites elsewhere in the town.