Wrangle over flooded rail Derby bridge repairs

image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionThe road was damaged by "an enormous flow" of water

A council is seeking an "admission of liability" from a utility company over the £700,000 cost of repairing a flood-damaged railway bridge.

The listed 19th Century structure on Alfreton Road, Derby, was damaged by a burst water main in August.

Derby City Council said it hoped the cost of repairs, which it described as a "burden for the taxpayer", would be shared with Severn Trent Water.

Severn Trent said it would "work with the council".

"It will be a negotiation between ourselves and Severn Trent to establish what the level of payment is. I don't expect Severn Trent will pay the full amount," a council spokesman said.


The bridge, which was designed by pioneering engineers George and Robert Stephenson, has been closed to traffic for three months.

The council hopes it will open to one-way traffic, travelling into Derby, on 19 November.

"Our assessment shows the bridge can only support one lane of traffic until it is fully repaired," said the spokesman.

The authority will seek to approve the £700,000 cost of repairs at a cabinet meeting later but added those could take "months" because it needs to access the bridge from the railway line.

image copyrightNikki Bednall
image captionA motorist said the road's surface was "lifted" about 1.5ft (0.5m) by the water pressure

"Our opportunities to... carry out repairs are greatly restricted," the council said in a statement.

It said the work would be scheduled over a series of Saturday evenings and was talking to Network Rail to secure access.

Cabinet member Mick Barker said the repairs were "another burden for the taxpayer".

"The main is a big one that goes into the city so it carries a lot of pressure," he said. "It has failed on a couple of occasions recently so hopefully this is the last time."

image captionThe road has been closed for three months

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