NEWPORT Quay Bridge, one of the main access points for the harbour, will have to be replaced after engineers discovered damage levels that make it beyond repair - the Isle of Wight County Press can reveal.
The bridge was closed just a day after the Isle of Wight Festival in June, when critical levels of damage were discovered by inspectors.
The council has now confirmed the bridge is beyond repair and it could be a long time before it is replaced.
An Isle of Wight Council spokesman said: "It is likely this short section of route giving vehicle accessing to the quay via the bridge will remain closed for some time, as advice has been received that the existing bridge is beyond economical repair and will need full replacement.
"During this period of closure there will be vehicular access to the quay via Seaclose, and pedestrian access will still be maintained from the town side.
"A further factor influencing the bridge replacement, is that the council is currently going through the process of revising the current harbour revision order with the Maritime Management Organisation.
"This is a legal process which will include public consultation and this must be undertaken before the council can make any changes to the way the harbour operates.
"One of the proposed changes to the harbour revision order is to remove the necessity for the road bridge to be lifted in and out of position to allow craft to navigate this section of the harbour. If this revision is accepted, a new static structure would be significantly cheaper and therefore in the interests of value for money the council has decided to wait until a decision has been made on the harbour revision order before undertaking any replacement of the bridge.
"The timescale on this is not yet clear, but the council is hoping it can be achieved as soon as is feasibly possible."