Divers inspect bridges in flood area as part of standard checks

This story was published 23 August 2019

Bridges within the area of the Yorkshire Dales hit by severe flooding at the end of July are being inspected by divers as water levels return to normal.

Divers inspect a bridge over Barney Beck that runs into the River Swale west of Reeth

The bridges have already been inspected by bridge engineers and deemed to be safe, but the use of divers allows inspection below the waterline as part of the standard checking process following a flood event.

John Smith, North Yorkshire County Council’s Bridges and Design Services Manager, said: “The divers are checking the underside of the foundations, making sure there are no scour holes and no damage to the foundations. They’re doing this because, as engineers, it’s not safe for us to do it. We will check the structures immediately after the flood to open the roads, but we want to make sure we haven’t missed anything underwater, and it’s safer for the divers to be in the fast-flowing water than the bridge engineers as they have more experience training for working in water.”