A road in the centre of Knaresborough was closed last week to allow the Environment Agency reduce the flood risk in the town by clearing the River Nidd.
The B6163 was closed where it runs over Low Bridge on Sunday, September 2, so staff could clear debris from the river below.
Timber and other floating debris can cause a flood risk when they gather against the central pier of the bridge, an Environment Agency spokesman said.
If left unchecked the mass of wood and grass could eventually grow large enough to block the bridge’s arches, he added.
Richard Marwood, operations delivery team leader at the Environment Agency, said:
“This operation is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing work to reduce the risk of flooding to people and properties.
“Clearing the debris at Low Bridge is quite an important job because it can and does accumulate against the central pier of the bridge, and if it isn’t removed it would eventually block the water flow underneath the bridge arches. It usually needs to be done every two years.
“The bridge itself is maintained by North Yorkshire Council, so they helped us out by organising the road closure.”
An operations team from the Environment Agency was on site in Knaresborough on Sunday, September 2, to remove the debris.
The team used chain saws to cut up the branches, accessing them from a raft. The wood was then removed by a crane parked on the bridge.
The work was planned for a Sunday to minimise disruption to road traffic, the spokesman added.
The Environment Agency has also asked residents in Knaresborough to watch out for debris and rubbish gathering at Low Bridge and report anything to their incident hotline on 0800 80 70 90. More information about the Environment Agency and flood warnings are available at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk.