Tadcaster bridge work starts after flood collapse
Work has started on a temporary footbridge to reconnect the two sides of a North Yorkshire town after its main bridge collapsed during flooding.
Sections of the 300-year-old road bridge in Tadcaster fell into the River Wharfe on 29 December.
The crossing is on council-owned land after a row with Samuel Smith's brewery, which refused to allow the structure to be built on its land.
North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) hoped it would take two weeks to build.
The council said contractors will work 12 hours a day, seven days a week to get the footbridge open.
'Tremendous community spirit'
The metal structure will be assembled on the banks of the river, with work to push the bridge across the river expected to start on Friday.
It will span from the Selby District Council car park to Tadcaster Town Council land, with an access path through Tadcaster Albion football club's car park.
A plan to cross the river to land owned by Samuel Smith's was halted after the brewery refused permission because of concerns pressure might be exerted for the temporary bridge to become permanent.
The government agreed to provide £3m for the restoration of the main bridge and £300,000 to construct the temporary structure.
Work to rebuild the road bridge is expected to take up to 12 months to complete.
Don Mackenzie, NYCC's executive member for highways, said: "The sooner we can get the town connected again, the better for everybody concerned - residents, business and visitors.
"I commend the tremendous community spirit of the town and all who have been involved in finding this alternative solution for the temporary footbridge - especially the football club.
"In the meantime, we will also get on with the painstaking work of reconstructing the main bridge."