Leeds & West Yorkshire

Elland's flood-hit bridge reopens after £5m build

Traffic on the bridge
Image caption The flood-hit bridge has reopened to traffic after being damaged in December 2015

A bridge which was severely damaged by flooding has reopened to vehicles more than a year after it was closed.

Elland Bridge, in West Yorkshire, had to be rebuilt at a cost of £5m after it partially collapsed on 29 December 2015 during floods.

Originally built in 1811, it was reopened to walkers and cyclists in January.

The Grade II listed bridge spans both the River Calder and the Calder and Hebble Navigation canal.

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Meanwhile, senior councillors in Leeds are to discuss a report later on the impact and lessons of the storms that hit Yorkshire and beyond over three days in Christmas 2015.

It says the need for further significant investment in flood alleviation schemes is "critical" to help prevent a repeat of the devastation.

December 2015 was the wettest in a century and the UK was hit by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank during the month.

Image caption The bridge was rebuilt at a cost of £5m

A barge was wedged against Elland bridge with several others left stranded on the towpath when high water receded.

Graham Ramsden, of the Canal and River Trust, said: "It's been the most complicated bridge build I've worked on.

"We have put it back pretty much as it looked before, but stronger and flood resilient. Every bit of stone in the new bridge came from the old bridge."

Cold weather and ice at the end of January had slightly delayed work and the reopening.

It comes just days after the reopening of Tadcaster bridge in North Yorkshire.

A third bridge, in Linton, West Yorkshire, has yet to reopen.

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