Work continues to progress well on the repairs to the flood-damaged Linton Bridge.
Leeds City Council has given its latest update on the project, which is being carried out on the Grade II-listed structure over the River Wharfe between Linton and Collingham. The bridge has been closed since December 27 2015, when it suffered significant damage to its foundations due to flooding caused by the impact of Storm Eva.
Working with Historic England, Leeds City Council developed an intricate repair programme for up to £4.5million to be spent on repairing the bridge while retaining its original appearance.
The project has been split into two phases, with the first carried out before Christmas to put a temporary support system in place to make the bridge safe for the permanent repairs to then follow.
This involved creating platforms and causeways in the river to allow piling to take place along with a temporary cradle being installed to support the southern arch of the bridge. A video animation of this process can be seen at www.leeds.gov.uk/residents.
Additional stabilising work carried out included grout being injected into the ground beneath the south pier foundation while cracks in the central and southern arches were also repaired through a stitching process.
The permanent repair works are now underway, with further piling work being carried out. This will be followed by the road surface being removed to reveal the top of the arches, with reinforced concrete slabs being placed on top.
Infrastructure cables and pipes which run through the bridge, supporting supplies of water, electricity, gas and communications will also be reconnected.
The temporary cradle and piling will then be removed with the riverbed being restored to its original profile. The stone parapets and walls on the bridge will be rebuilt, which will straighten the bridge correcting the depression of the south pier caused by the flood damage.
The final element of the project will see the road restored with kerbs, footways and the road markings put in place. All of the work is being carried out carefully to protect the listed nature of the structure, and when complete much of the work done will not be able to seen to ensure the original visual look of the bridge is maintained.
The work remains on course to be completed this summer, and after visiting the site this week Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“The floods that followed Storm Eva had a lasting impact on communities across the city. The structural damage caused to Linton Bridge has separated the communities of Linton and Collingham and we are working to reconnect them. The progress on Linton Bridge is going well which is very encouraging. This is a challenging and intricate project as we need to be very careful to protect the historic nature of the structure while doing what needs to done in order to get the bridge repaired and reopened.
“It is a complex piece of work with everything needing to happen in a careful sequence, so I would like to thank local residents for their continued patience as we keep working towards a successful reopening.”
In order to reduce the ongoing impact of the bridge closure, free shuttle bus services continue to operate, supported by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA). For information about the services visit www.wymetro.com