A drop-in session is to be held to let Cawood residents and business people meet the contractors and bridge engineers before repairs begin on the swing bridge.
The swing bridge at Cawood is to undergo a major refurbishment of the mechanical equipment that runs the movement of the bridge, including the hydraulic, electrical and control systems. Some components of the bridge have come to the end of their working life and are obsolete, so North Yorkshire County Council is to carry out a £500,000 upgrade to avoid a major breakdown. The last major upgrade was 36 years ago.
From 8 October, river traffic will be affected because the bridge will not swing for the full duration of the works. It will be locked in place to the road, but there will be two weeks of preparatory work during which the road will remain open. From 22 October, it will be closed to motor vehicles for four weeks. A road diversion will be in place for motor vehicles, but pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross the bridge at all times during the six weeks.
Local people will be able to meet the contractors and bridge engineers during a drop-in session at Cawood Primary School on Tuesday, 18 September, from 5pm to 7pm.
Drawings of the work to be undertaken, a plan showing the diversion route and information about the revised bus timetable will all be available to view. Residents, business people and councillors will have the opportunity to ask questions about the work and arrangements during the closure period. A similar drop-in session proved successful when the bridge was strengthened and painted last year.
Originally, it had been planned to do the mechanical work at that time as well, but after engagement with the community it was agreed to return later to do that work to lessen the closure period last year.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways, said: “The upgrade work will bring the bridge up to date with modern equipment, parts and technology. The hydraulic bridge motor and the bridge operating software have come to the end of their working life. The drop-in session will give all those interested a chance to study the work to be done and ask any questions.”
County Councillor Andrew Lee, who represents Cawood and Saxton, said: “The scheme has been planned to take place at this time of year as the bridge will be unable to swing while the upgrade is taking place. We could not do the work in the summer due to river traffic and the time chosen does cover a half-term week school holiday. The council has been working closely with the contractors and engineers involved in the scheme to make sure it is programmed to have the least impact to vehicles and the shortest closure achievable. We would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience while this vital operation is carried out.”