York & North Yorkshire

Tadcaster's flood-hit bridge arch supports replaced

Dave Bowe of North Yorkshire County Council
Image caption Dave Bowe, of North Yorkshire County Council, said large formwork arch rings were moved into place on Saturday night

Arch supports have been put in place on a Grade II listed bridge damaged by floods last December, enabling the final phase of masonry work to begin.

Tadcaster in North Yorkshire was split in two on Boxing Day, when the River Wharfe bridge partially collapsed.

The bridge is now due to be finished by 27 January rather than Christmas, after "unusual and persistent" high river levels caused delays.

The arch rings mean stonemasons can start work covering the arches.

David Bowe, of North Yorkshire County Council's Business and Environmental Services, said the arch rings had been lifted in a day early.

'Determined to beat date'

He said: "Last night, we managed to lift in the large formwork arch rings which will allow us to get on with the masonry for the arches on Tadcaster Bridge.

"Next the masons will start constructing masonry piers and filling them with concrete, and putting masonry over the arch rings.

"Our new target completion date is 27 January, a month after the original date, but the guys on site are really up for the challenge and determined to beat that date."

Image copyright Geograph/Gordon Hatton
Image caption Tadcaster Bridge repairs, pictured seven weeks after its collapse on 26 December 2015
Image copyright Joe Giddens/PA
Image caption North Yorkshire County Council said new piling would help prevent scouring of the the foundations, which contributed to the bridge's collapse in December 2015

New piling and construction of the pier base, the most complex part of the operation, are complete.

Piling would help prevent future scouring of the foundations, which contributed to the bridge's collapse last year, the council said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The River Wharfe at Tadcaster can only currently be crossed via a temporary footbridge or a lengthy detour

The government pledged £3m for repair work within days of the bridge collapse, and £1.4m was given by the region's Local Enterprise Partnership to widen and strengthen the bridge.

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