North Yorkshire continues crucial repairs in Swaledale after last year’s floods

We have continued to repair roads and improve drainage to roads in Swaledale following last year’s unprecedented rainfall event and the resultant flash floods.

This work went on even during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The rainfall intensity was of a level never previously seen before and North Yorkshire County Council mobilised resources in the immediate aftermath to get vital infrastructure back up and running as quickly as possible by building temporary bridge structures, repairing roads and removing tonnes of debris from the area to protect highways and properties. 

The County Council successfully made the case for Government funding and was pleased to receive a £3m one-off exceptional funding award.

“We have carried on the crucial work to our highways infrastructure in the Swaledale area over the last year,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Access, “As we know how crucial these rural roads and bridges are to the Dales communities and keeping people and businesses connected. This work has carried on even through the coronavirus pandemic and we are now gearing up to build permanent bridges to replace the temporary structures we put in place when the bridges collapsed, and this work is now out to tender.  We were very grateful for the funding award from Government which will ensure that the bridge schemes are delivered”.

The extreme weather saw homes, roads and bridges destroyed, as intense rain fell on areas of Richmondshire. Leyburn, Bellerby, Grinton and Reeth. The rain swamped roads and surrounding land and overwhelmed drainage systems. Rivers carrying debris, including stones and boulders added to the destructive force of the water.

In the immediate aftermath of the rain storm the county council, working with district partners set up rest centres and the county council’s Major Incident Response Team and Ready for Anything volunteers, supported by the British Red Cross, offered support to people in towns and villages.

At the same time, the county council’s highways team worked quickly to clear rural routes, reopen roads and put in place plans to resolve the complex closures on the B6270, which links the upper dale to Richmond, and the C106 road from Grinton towards Leyburn following the collapse of the bridges on both of these routes.

The county council’s bridges engineers acted swiftly and with ingenuity to repair the landslip on the B6270 Reeth to Richmond, built a temporary road and culvert at the damaged bridge at Cogden South on on the C106 road near Grinton Moor and also built a temporary diversion at Cogden North Bridge on the B6270.

Since July last year the council’s highways teams have completed other repairs, which have included:

  • patching,
  • resurfacing,
  • parapet wall repairs to bridges,
  • making good road edge damage,
  • repairing ‘washed out areas’,
  • reinstating ditches,
  • repairing drainage systems damaged by the storms or
  • removing debris

The council has designed the permanent replacement structures for the collapsed bridges on B6270 Cogden North and the C106 Cogden South and is now out to tender for a contractor and the works are planned to start in September 2020 and will be confirming details of the works programme very shortly.