Steel tubes arrive on Grinton Moor for bridge repair work

Steel tubing rolled into place on Grinton Moor. Photo: NYCC.

Giant steel tubes have been lowered into place on Grinton Moor to create a temporary crossing where a bridge was swept away during floods.

The stone bridge over Cogden Beck was completely destroyed after flash floods carrying boulders and other debris brought down the bridge.

North Yorkshire County Council’s engineers and contractors have been since the floods hit the dales on July 30 to reconnect the dales communities.

Today, two repurposed steel tubes were delivered from Cleveland Steel to the remote spot on the back of a low-loader lorry and were rolled into Cogden Beck.

They will divert the waterway so a temporary bridge and road can be built. If all goes well, the temporary crossing will also allow the road world championships to continue along its planned route.

North Yorkshire County Council intends to rebuild the traditional Dales masonry bridge next year.

Another road linking Grinton with the rest of the dales, the B6270, was also left impassable after part of the road collapsed during intense rainfall and a bridge further along the road over Cogden Beck was severely weakened.

North Yorkshire County Council and its contractors have now excavated the landslip and are hoping to have the road and bridge open soon.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways said: “The damage caused by the unprecedented rainfall in parts of Swaledale has caused unimaginable upheaval to communities in the area.

“We know how vital these roads and bridges are to everyday life for those living in the affected areas, so we are delighted to report we have managed to make so much progress in such a short space of time.”

Speaking to the council’s executive today, council leader Carl Les added: “The devastation had to be seen to be believed. It was just like a battlefield. Buildings and stock washed away, bales of sileage floating down becks. We heard descriptions of vehicles floating down the road. Fortunately it was very localised, but it being localised means absolutely nothing if it is your property that’s been flooded out.”

He said while communities such as those in Arkengarthdale and Swaledale could have been left facing lengthy diversions, the council’s highways team had put in place temporary measures to rapidly reopen roads.

Cllr Les said: “When you have a disaster like this it usually takes months if not years to put right. We had three road failures in Swaledale. If you have a road diversion in the Dales the impact can be 35 miles and the impact that has on people’s normal lives, but also on their emergency services which they already feel a long way away from.

“Those road failures are going to be put right within days and that’s a great credit to the highways team.”

Roy Fishwick, managing director of Cleveland Steel and Tubes Ltd, said: “We were delighted when the council accepted our proposal to deploy steel tubes to repair the bridges.

“Our repurposed steel is proven to deliver up to 96 per cent savings on carbon emissions compared to new steel, so it is an environmentally-friendly solution as well as a cost-effective one.

“As a local supplier we can also immediately provide the tubes, enabling the council to quickly restore access for residents as well as the tourists upon which this region relies during the summer.”