York & North Yorkshire

Whitby swing bridge stuck in open position

Whitby swing bridge
Work to repair Whitby swing bridge was finished in 2013, but it is currently stuck in an open position.

A swing bridge which connects two sides of a North Yorkshire port has been closed to traffic after becoming stuck.

The Whitby swing bridge, which underwent a £250,000 revamp last year, is locked in an open position due to a fault in the hydraulic system.

North Yorkshire County Council said specialist engineers were on the way to carry out emergency repairs.

A shuttle bus connecting both sides of the town is operating until the bridge is operational again.

The incident occurred after jacks designed to keep the bridge in place developed a fault.

A council spokesman said: "Breakdown of the bridge mechanism is now much less likely, but Whitby swing bridge is a mechanical bridge over 100 years old and so from time to time there will still be problems."

Storm surge

Last year's upgrade to the bridge involved installing new navigation lights, re-painting the structure and electrical works.

Work also included improving the bridge's computerised technology to prevent failures and speed up repairs.

In July 2010 the bridge became stuck in an open position for more than a week after a gearbox failure.

The council spent £25,000 flying in parts from Italy to repair the fault.

Last month around 200 homes and businesses in Whitby were flooded as the worst storm surge on record hit the east coast.

The council said: "The flooding and storm surge that hit Whitby before Christmas would have probably put the bridge out of action for weeks but due to the waterproofing of electric cabling and the raising of electrical junction boxes onto the underside of the bridge above the waterline, the bridge remained operational."

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