A temporary culvert and road has been built in weeks by County Council engineers and contractors after a masonry bridge on the C106 on the forthcoming UCI World Road Championship route was destroyed by flood water.
The temporary crossing, which opened today (6 September), has been built alongside the ruined bridge, which was washed away when unprecedented levels of rain fell in the Dales about five weeks ago.
The damaged bridge crosses Cogden Beck on Grinton Moor, connecting Grinton to Leyburn. It is an important road for farmers and forms part of the route for the Senior Men’s Road Race World Championships on September 29.
North Yorkshire County Council engineers devised a swift solution to reopen the road after the floods. Pre-cast concrete culverts or pipes were not readily available, but they quickly sourced large steel tubes to channel the water. Cleveland Steel and Tubes, near Thirsk, had two disused parts of a Scottish wind turbine, which were cut to length, transported to the remote site and lowered into place so the road could be built around them.
The design of the replacement for the damaged bridge is being finalised. It is hoped to begin construction of the replacement bridge in early 2020. Because of the temporary culvert, which is now in place, there will be no adverse impact on the travelling public while the permanent repairs take place.
First over the temporary crossing today was Stuart Price from the Dales Bike Centre, just outside Grinton. The business is undergoing a £1.1m expansion thanks to a huge increase in cyclists from the UK and abroad over the last five years as North Yorkshire cements its reputation as a top cycling destination.
Stuart said the bridge lies halfway up what will be a major climb in the men’s race and provides a natural amphitheatre for the race to unfold.
Stuart, who runs the centre with his wife, Brenda, said: “We’ll see some of the top riders in the world battling against each other on that climb. It’s going to be brilliant; a really good race. It’s also a vital link for the community between Swaledale and Leyburn, it’s going to make day-to-day life much easier.
“The engineers did a brilliant job to have a road and bridge built in little more than a month.”
David Bowe, the County Council’s Director of Business and Environmental Services, said: “The floods caused severe damage to our roads and bridges. We’re happy to say now, five weeks on, we have managed to repair the damage to the road bridges and roads to help the community get back on its feet as quickly as possible.
“We know how vital this road and bridge is to everyday life for those living in the affected areas and we’re delighted to have made so much progress. We’re also conscious that in two weeks, thousands of extra visitors will be making their way to this area for the UCI Road World Championships and now they will be able to see this race go ahead as planned through the stunning scenery in this area of the Yorkshire Dales.”