Bridge repair starts Oct 20

North Yorkshire County Council has confirmed that the repair to Wood Hall Bridge will finally get under way on October 20th and is expected to take eight weeks.

The first stage will see a temporary access road from the north side of the river to allow heavy plant to get to the scene. Temporary foundations will be laid for a jacking frame which will then jack the bridge back to its original position. New foundations for the north pier will be undertaken and the metal work repaired. The timber decking will then be restored and finally all trace of the temporary access roads will be removed. Jacobs UK have been appointed as contractors and – baring unforeseen problems or prolonged bad weather – it is hoped that the bridge will reopen just ahead of Christmas.

East Keswick Parish Council has lobbied hard over the past two years to get the bridge repaired which had been in use since 1868 asa bridle path and footpath crossing of the river. The bridge is a substantial structure resembling a railway bridge and was badly damaged by tree trunk debris carried downstream in flood waters which repeatedly struck one of the pier supports causing the decking to buckle. Damage was so severe that NYCC were forced to close all access to the bridge which they were advised was in danger of sudden collapse. The repair works have been a huge expense to NYCC, costs which were exacerbated by the remote location of the bridge. Usually bridges have road or rail access allowing materials and lifting gear to gain proximity, a factor denied in this case.