York & North Yorkshire

Collapsed Tadcaster bridge repairs 'to cost £3m'

Bridge collapse - courtesy Giles Rocholl Image copyright Giles Rocholl
Image caption The 18th century stone bridge in Tadcaster partially collapsed on 29 December after major flooding

An 18th Century bridge which was badly damaged in recent flooding is expected to cost £3m and take up to 12 months to repair, a council has estimated.

The stone bridge at Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, partially collapsed into the River Wharfe last Tuesday after major flooding in the town.

A bus has been transporting people from one side of the river to the other after the bridge remained closed.

The council said it was looking at all options to create pedestrian access.

Shops and businesses in the town were badly affected by floods after river levels rose following heavy rain on 26 December.

The authority said building a temporary road bridge was "not an option given the span required and the constraints of the location".

Instead it had agreed to reconstruct the historic bridge following a meeting with the military, Highways England and the Department for Transport earlier.

Image copyright PA
Image caption North Yorkshire County Council took the decision to reconstruct the bridge after a meeting with the military, Highways England and the Department for Transport

North Yorkshire County Council said reconstructing "a listed bridge of this nature, with its series of masonry arches, is a highly complex and skilled operation which the county council is best placed and has the necessary expertise to carry out".

"The council is hoping that the reconstruction of the bridge can be carried out within 12 months, circumstances permitting. It is estimated that the reconstruction will cost around £3m. The county council will therefore be looking for financial support from government."

An option to create a temporary footbridge across the river using pontoons was being examined, the council said.

The authority said it was also looking to "stabilise the bridge further with concrete underpinning of the bridge's pier due to flood waters scouring part of the river bed underneath".

Divers are due to carry out an underwater survey of the bridge this week.

Other bridges in Yorkshire suffered serious damage during the recent floods, including Elland Bridge in Calderdale, and a 180-year-old bridge collapsed in Copley, near Halifax.

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