North Yorkshire County Council highways staff have today moved equipment on site to start work to address the flood damage which has closed the B6270 and the Grinton to Leyburn road.
The temporary bridge which will replace the damaged structure on the B6270 which links the upper dale to Richmond arrived on site by low loader today.
Highways staff are also repairing the landslip further along the road so it can reopen to two-way traffic as soon as possible. The target date for this is August 16. Permanent repairs will then take place later on.
“Our highways staff and engineers have been pulling out all the stops to get these vital roads reopened as soon as possible,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s executive member for access.
The county council’s says its resilience and emergencies team have been working with Richmondshire District Council officers and volunteer members of Team Rubicon Uk, made up of largely ex-military personnel, to help with clear-up operation.
Along with volunteers from the county council’s Major Incident Response Team they have been clearing out flood water and rubble from people’s homes, delivering sandbags, food parcels, cleaning and drying equipment, providing advice and dishing out hot meals in the community hubs in Grinton, Reeth and Bellerby.
“The resilience and community spirit and the way everybody is pulling together to help those directly affected in the upper Dales is phenomenal,” said North Yorkshire’s leader, County Cllr Carl Les.
The eight Team Rubicon volunteers have been given free accommodation by the King’s Arms and The Laurels in Reeth.
“Everybody has been fantastic” said Rubicon volunteer Joe Borg.
“We’ve had endless offers of tea and cake and we’ve been working with all agencies to clear up flooded properties, move rubble and silt and help people shift white goods, furniture and other items destroyed by the flood water.”
Cockburns in Bedale donated and delivered 250 pies and the fish and chip; shop in Hawes sent over a consignment of mushy peas so pie and peas could be offered from the Bellerby hub for people in without the means to cook.
Wayne Pearson, manager of Cockburn’s, said: “We had seen everything that had been going on and wanted to do anything we could to help.
“It was on the spur of the moment and in the great scheme of things it is a small gesture, but we will try to do anything we can to help.
“The owners, Mark and Jonathan, and I and most of the staff have grown up around the area, so it is horrible to see anyone go through this. It is only a few miles away. We were very lucky to miss most of it here in Bedale.”
Marske Choir community choir also came together to cheer everybody up and promote the spirit of togetherness.
At an open air recital in Reeth, one of the towns affected, members of the choir performed a special version of Beautiful Dale. The recital included a specially written verse about the floods and was sung by local farmer Martin Wallis.
“Our staff and volunteers, who have been out and about in the Upper Dales for a week now, have been so impressed with the huge generosity shown for those affected by the floods,” said Cllr Les.
“For the most part residents have been hugely appreciative of the speed and level of support.
“They also want to send out the message loud and clear that the Yorkshire Dales is still open for business. While we urge people to adhere to any road closure or flood warning signs by not driving through these closures, the overwhelming majority of the Yorkshire Dales is still accessible and ready with a big welcome for visitors.”
“We want to do everything as quickly as we can, working also with our Richmond MP, Rishi Sunak, and his team, to support the local population through this difficult time” said Cllr Les.
The county council said it would continue to monitor highways diversion routes, some of which are on very minor roads, to make sure they are safe and usable at all times. Everyone is urged to drive with care and be patient in letting other vehicles pass safely.
Cogden South Bridge on the C106 at Grinton Moor was completely devastated by the flood.
NYCC’s bridge designers have undertaken special designs to create a temporary structure upstream of the collapsed bridge which will join the road back together.
The target is to reopen the C106 before the end of August and NYCC also hopes this will enable the UCI Road World Championship race to take place on the publicised route in September.
Reconstruction work of a permanent structure will take place later on.