Linton Bridge reopening delays

Repairs to Linton Bridge overthe River Wharf are well underway
Repairs to Linton Bridge overthe River Wharf are well underway

Linton Bridge is set to reopen in September - 21 months after it was closed because of flood damage in December 2015.

Leeds City Council said that piling problems have caused delays in the multi-million pound project to reinstate the Grade II listed link which was left unstable when flood waters rushed down the Wharfe on Boxing Day nearly two years ago .

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “During work to install new piles at Linton Bridge, we have encountered a number of obstructions while drilling, which has meant the work has taken longer than expected.

“These problems have now been overcome and the piling work is complete, which is a major step forward.

“We still have some difficult operations ahead and we will continue to explore all potential ways to finish the repairs as quickly as possible, but we expect that we will now be able to reopen the bridge in September.

“We’ve kept residents informed through newsletters distributed locally and we’d like to once again thank the public for their continued patience during essential repairs to this historic, Grade II listed structure.”

The council explained that each pile - 52 in total - is constructed by drilling a hole down through the bridge supports and into the rock over 25m below the bridge. Each hole is then filled with grout and steel reinforcement.

Work has been completed to build a complex temporary arch support under the bridge to enable it to be accessed safely.

A former Linton and Collingham Parish Councillor Angela Beaumont told the Wetherby News that she and husband Michael Harvey have watched progress on the repairs from their Collingham home near the bridge.

Angela said: “Given the extremely complex nature of the work involved, I am very impressed by the work done by the contractors, who have been very good.

“The feeling of the people of Collingham is that it is very good of Leeds City Council to spend £4.5million on Linton bridge.

“Yes, some people have complained of the inconvenience but it cannot be compared to what Tadcaster went through.”

But Leeds City Councillor for Harewood Ryan Stephenson (Conservative) said that the new date is causing more frustration.

“Much like the communities of Linton and Collingham we are becoming increasingly frustrated with the ever-changing completion date,” said Coun Stephenson.

“Initially we were promised it would be reopened for the summer. This further delay has only added insult to injury.

“Residents have shown real resilience in dealing with the diversion and utilising the temporary shuttle bus service we secured for the community, but we will be glad to get the bridge reopened in September so we can reunify our two villages once again.”

Contractors will now work on the south pier, waterproof the new concrete bridge deck, fill cracks and remove the temporary support.

The City Council is expected to release further updates on the work in mid July.

Meanwhile council officials said the free shuttle bus between Linton and Collingham - running 7am-7pm, Monday to Saturday - will remain in operation until the bridge is reopened.

In addition to this, on Friday and Saturday evenings only, the free service runs between The Windmill Inn and Collingham.