Freezing weather continues to hamper work on Tadcaster Bridge and has pushed back the opening date – which is now likely to be on Tuesday January 31st at a time still to be decided -provided that temperatures rise as forecast over the weekend.
We will not be able to confirm the opening time until Monday.
Contractors have erected heated tents over the masonry to help the construction of the parapet wall on the upstream side of the bridge where low temperatures overnight have not being rising until midday at the earliest. Even with the tents in place it has proved difficult to raise the temperatures to a level that allows the mortar to harden effectively and as a consequence progress has not been as fast as had been programmed.
Contractors are working round the clock and are very close to finishing the bridge in order to open it to traffic, however it is very difficult to define a specific time when the work will be complete due to the continuing low temperatures.
“We know how important it is for the town to get this bridge open” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways, “and we have done everything possible to complete the project – which of its kind would normally take about two years – in half the time.
“We believe from current discussions we can open the bridge on Tuesday but this complex and challenging process becomes even more difficult in very cold weather. We will, of course, keep everybody updated about progress. There is not much longer to wait and we must ask the people of Tadcaster, who have shown such patience and fortitude over this past year, to bear with us for just a short while longer.”
Tadcaster Bridge was closed after its partial collapse due to the force of flood water from heavy rains last Christmas. Because of the importance of the bridge to Tadcaster’s community, the County Council started the Herculean task of reconstruction only two and half weeks after the bridge’s collapse and has pulled out all the stops to complete the project.
The 18th century grade two listed bridge has been reconstructed and widened with £3m from the Government and £1.4m from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.