Major repairs to the historic Bubwith Bridge reach the halfway point

The 15-week project at Bubwith Bridge, which includes emergency repairs and strengthening works to the structure, began in July after the stone bridge, which carries the A163 over the River Derwent, was hit by a car in September 2022, causing significant damage to its headwall and parapet.

The work recently came under fire as business owners said they feared they would not be able to survive much longer due to the road closure and diversions in place.

“We had our worst trading week in years this week. If this continues we won’t be here much longer,” said Louise Smith, owner of Jug and Bottle at Bubwith.

Esh Construction is carrying out the project on behalf of East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Steven Garrigan, Head of Civil Engineering at Esh Construction, said: “We are pleased with the progress to date and remain on schedule.

“We recognize the strain that the closure of the bridge will place on the region and have therefore committed to using local suppliers and subcontractors where possible given the specialist nature of some of the trades required. I am pleased to report that over half of the contract value has been reinvested within 20 miles of the site.

“Whilst we have so far overcome all obstacles allowing us to remain in the program, we would like to remind everyone that the risk of uncovering further structural issues is still high, but we are working with East Riding of Yorkshire Council “To ensure that this is the case, we are fully informed every step of the way.”

York Press: The bridge was damaged in a car accident last yearThe bridge was damaged in a car accident last year (Image: Included)

The first phase of the work saw the installation of encapsulated scaffolding, which enabled sandblasting, steel beam reinforcement and masonry repairs to the parapets to be carried out safely.

At the halfway point, the masonry repairs, which involved fixing the masonry with steel brackets to increase strength, are now complete and the steel beams have been replaced.

The next critical phase will involve special vacuum excavation work to remove fill from the eastern and western arches of the bridge. This allows steel anchors and concrete infill to be installed to further strengthen the structure.

Adam Holmes, director of infrastructure and facilities at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “We are pleased with the progress of the repair and strengthening works on this bridge project.

“We would like to thank Esh Construction for being so accommodating to their work schedules to expedite this work so we could plan for a quicker reopening of the bridge, and for supporting local businesses throughout this endeavor.”

Other work to be carried out in the coming weeks includes the installation of a vehicle restraint system to prevent future similar damage, as well as curbs, pipes, pavement and road markings.

Originally built in 1798 and a listed structure, all repairs carried out are in keeping with the existing bridge and its surroundings.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of October 2023. Major repairs to the historic Bubwith Bridge reach the halfway point

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