North East Connected

County Council set to complete Tadcaster river works

North Yorkshire County Council is completing works in the river bed and on the banks of the Wharfe following the rebuilding of Tadcaster Bridge.

Since the bridge reopened in February the County Council ‘s contractors have been back on site tidying up the bridge stone work, removing temporary supports and the temporary footbridge.  The footbridge was erected to connect the two sides of Tadcaster for pedestrians after the road bridge collapsed due to floods at Christmas 2015.

In recent weeks the county council has been back in the river cutting down the metal sheet piles of the coffer dam which was erected to create a dry dock to enable contractors to strengthen the bridge’s foundations.

The sheet piles are being cut down to just below the natural bed level of the river, but will remain 10 metres down to the limestone beneath.  This will serve to protect the bridge and river bed against future scouring from floodwater.

By the end of May the county council  will have restored  the river  banks and the river bed to its former level, filling in scour holes and removing stones and debris that built up due to the floods and subsequent restoration work.

“We hope to have fully completed the works in about a month’s time,” said David Bowe, North Yorkshire’s Corporate Director for Business and Environmental Services.  “This has been a massive undertaking by the county council along with the entire community and we are proud that we are now completing the finishing touches”.

The county council pulled out all the stops to rebuild the bridge in just over a year, an undertaking which in normal times would have been a two-year project.

Contractors have also removed all their site cabins and resurfaced the Selby District Council car park on the east side of the river which was used to store plant for the rebuilding works. In addition the council will shortly be resurfacing the bus station area.

The county council now intends to create seating and recreational facilities on the Wharfe’s west side, utilising the remaining ramp and abutment from the temporary footbridge.  “We will shortly be applying for planning permission”, said David Bowe, “because we would like to create a recreational area which would include seats and information boards which will tell the bridge’s history. We believe this would be a fitting legacy and tribute to Tadcaster and the resilience of its community during this difficult year.

“We will also be applying shortly for planning permission for street lighting on the bridge.”

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