BREAKING: Completion date for repairs to Tadcaster bridge DELAYED
County council chiefs have expressed their 'frustration' as the authority announced that the completion date for repairs to Tadcaster bridge has been delayed.
Following a review of the works yesterday (November 2) by all parties involved in the repair project, North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has announced that the finishing date has been delayed by some 20 days.
The bridge has been closed for almost a year after it partially collapsed under the weight of the Christmas floods last year.
NYCC had consistently committed to completing repair work and re-uniting the two halves of the town within 12 months, but now the authority estimates the project will be completed by the end of January.
County Councillor, Chris Metcalfe, member for Tadcaster, said: “We are extremely frustrated by this development.
"Our contractors have been pulling out all the stops to get this very complex, painstaking job completed within the year.
"Our main goal is to get Tadcaster back on its feet after the terrible flooding and collapse of the bridge last Christmas, but we are determined to push on and make every effort to get this job finished as soon as we possibly can.”
North Yorkshire County Council , which has been carrying out a round-the clock operation to reconstruct Tadcaster Bridge, has set out a revised timetable for the bridge completion due to persistent and unusually high river levels on the Wharfe.
The council explained the delay to the reconstruction was due to 'puzzling and persistent' high river levels, despite lower than average rainfall for the time of year.
The authority now believes the main cause of the high river levels is damming of the river by Network Rail, five miles downstream at Ulleskelf, for work on a railway bridge.
the County Council anticipates the project will be completed by the end of January, though every effort will continue to be made to finish the work sooner.
The County Council has learned in the last few days that the primary cause is damming of the river by Network Rail five miles downstream at Ulleskelf for work on a railway bridge.
Although the Environment Agency issued a permit for this work to be carried out, NYCC claims it was not notified about the operation.
The high water level upstream in Tadcaster has held up piling work and the creation of a new pier base for the bridge as this had to take place below the water line.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, NYCC Executive Member for Highways said: “We are working flat out to complete this bridge for the residents of Tadcaster and despite this setback the works have now reached a stage where they are less susceptible to rising river levels.
“We have had to revise our timetable for completion as a result of this latest development. Of course, we will now be contending with more adverse winter weather but we will press on to finish earlier in January if we possibly can."
Once the pier base is completed early this month, the arch rings to support construction will be put in place, allowing the stone masons to start their building work.
The stone for the pier and the arches has already been cut and most of the material from the upstream parapet will be reused when the parapet is re-positioned for the bridge widening.