Work starts on repairs to flood-damaged Swaledale bridges and roads

The bridge over Cogden Beck on Grinton Moor was destroyed. Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Work has started on temporary replacements for Swaledale bridges which were severely damaged in last week’s floods.

Equipment and machinery will this week be moved to Grinton Moor and the B6270 between Reeth and Richmond.

The masonry bridge at Grinton Moor was washed away as torrential water carrying debris blasted the bridge to pieces.

The bridge on the B6270 near Cogden was left standing, but severely weakened and incapable of carrying any load.

On the Grinton Moor C106 road, engineers have carried out a detailed topographical survey in the vicinity of the collapsed bridge and created a 3D digital design of a temporary structure which will provide access from Grinton to Leyburn.

The bridge formed part of the UCI Road World Championship route, but the temporary replacement structure will enable the race to take place along the same route in September this year.

Reconstruction work of a permanent structure will take place next year.

North Yorkshire County Council is working with bridge contractors Hinko to get equipment at both bridge sites this week.

The council aims to have a temporary bridge lifted into place on the B6270 this week – which will sit over the top of the damaged structure.

Cllr Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “Our highways staff and bridge engineers have lost no time in finding solutions to help communities can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“In addition to the challenges we faced on the C106 we have designed a temporary structure for the bridge on the B6270 which will be laid over the bridge that has been damaged.

“We also intend to repair the B6270 road damaged by the landslip so that the entire road will be opened by August 16.

“Our highways teams are constantly monitoring the diversion routes, some of which are on very minor roads, to make sure they are safe and usable at all times.

“We’re asking everyone to drive with care and be patient in letting other vehicles pass safely.”

North Yorkshire County Council is also sending out gulley-cleaning machinery to improve surface-water drainage from roads.

The council is also extending the opening hours of its household waste recycling Centre at Leyburn, by opening it this Wednesday – when the site would normally be closed – to aid the clean-up operation.

North Yorkshire County Council leader, Cllr Carl Les, who surveyed the damage in Arkengarthdale on Friday afternoon with Richmondshire MP Rishi Sunak said: “Our thoughts are with those businesses and residents who have seen their homes and businesses destroyed and lost treasured possessions.

“We are doing everything we can to help at this time and will continue to do so.

“But now it is imperative people continue to support businesses throughout the Yorkshire Dales. While we urge people to be 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 its businesses open.”