Debris that has built up around the arches of Tadcaster Bridge due to high river levels from the weekend’s heavy rain will be removed from the water today or pushed through the bridge downstream.
The bridge has coped well with the flood water but as the level of the River Wharfe recedes today, debris that has been washed into the river from its banks remains stacked against the river arches by the force of water.
North Yorkshire County Council’s bridges team is therefore using a long-neck excavator to either push the debris under the arches downstream, or remove it from the water altogether.
“The bridge has done exactly what it was designed to do when it was rebuilt following the winter floods of 2015/16” said Cllr Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways. “Obviously people have been concerned with the river levels so high and with the build-up of debris, but the bridge has stood up well to the pressure of water.”
As a precaution the county council will employ diving teams to check structures below the water level for both Tadcaster and Middleham Bridge, Richmondshire, which was closed on Saturday. “We are not expecting any problems,” said Cllr Mackenzie, “but in cases of heavy flooding we often employ diving teams to check bridge structures as an extra safety measure.”
The county’s roads affected by flooding over the weekend are now mostly open after being swept to remove debris from the carriageways.
There remain some road closures in the Selby area due to flooding on the B1223 at Ulleskelf, Cock Bridge Sutton, Ramparts Bolton Percy, Beal to Birkin Road and Fairburn Ings. The county council’s highways teams will open the roads as soon as it is safe to do so.
Picture shows: Tadcaster Bridge with debris build-up from flood water.