D day for bridge is June 17
North Yorkshire County Council is to consider the Wood Hall Bridge problem on June 17th.
The footbridge over the River Wharfe was severely damaged when a tree trunk carried downstream by floodwater was continuously swept against one of the supports until it moved causing damage to the deck. The footbridge, which is a substantial structure more reminiscent of a railway bridge, has been closed ever since the problem was identified as it was deemed capable of imminent collapse without warning.
The river forms the boundary between West and North Yorkshire but this bridge is the responsibility of North Yorkshire County Council under an agreement which sees each alternate bridge allocated to each respective authority.
The bridge has been stabilised following inspections by divers but the cost of a full repair is substantial according to NYCC and is estimated at a quarter of a million pounds, five times the total annual bridge repair budget of the authority. The cost is large, in part, because this is so hard to access. Most other bridges are connected to a road or railway line providing easy access for bringing in heavy lifting gear and materials.
The cost of repairing the bridge needs to be agreed at the highest level and we understand the item is to be discussed at Northallerton on June 17th. The bridge is a well used and valued foot and bridle path connecting East Keswick to Sicklinghall and used by residents of the two villages as well as numerous ramblers and cyclists.