Balfour Beatty and North Yorkshire County Council reconnected the east and west sides of Tadcaster as the town came together, on February 12, to celebrate the opening of a temporary footbridge across the River Wharfe. The bridge was opened officially by Nigel Adams MP from the west side and Cllr David Jeffels, chair of North Yorkshire County Council, from the east.
The main Tadcaster bridge was closed after its partial collapse due to the force of flood water after heavy rains over the Christmas period.
Balfour Beatty worked seven days a week, 12 hours a day to complete the bridge, which spans 1.8m wide and 67m in length, assembling the metal structure in sections on site and then pushing this across the river. Click here to hear Dave Lowther’s, Balfour Beatty Contracts Manager, take on the works.
The footbridge spans the river from the Selby District Council car park on the eastern side to Tadcaster Town Council land on the western side and the access path on the west side leads through Tadcaster Albion's car park.
North Yorkshire County Council selected Balfour Beatty to carry out these vital works as they are currently working together on coastal protection scheme in North Yorkshire and have demonstrated their expertise in delivery of schemes of this nature.
Neil Beck, Balfour Beatty Operations Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with North Yorkshire County Council on the Tadcaster Bridge, which will reunite the East and West side of the town, re-establishing vital links for residents and local businesses.
“Given the importance of the river crossing to the local community we have utilised our expertise to construct and install a temporary footbridge spanning over the River Wharfe in less than six weeks.
“Working closely with North Yorkshire County Council we have commenced work on the existing road bridge which is a key transport route through the town and vital to the local economy. Support from the local residents has been overwhelming and we are working as quickly as we can to repair the damage caused by the floods at the end of December.”
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Member for Tadcaster, said: “The opening of the footbridge provided a great opportunity for the town to come together and celebrate being reunited and taking another step towards returning to normality. It will be welcomed by residents and particularly by traders as a sign that Tadcaster remains open for business as usual, ready to greet locals and visitors. Everybody has shown incredible community spirit through these challenging weeks and the county council and its contractors are proud to have met the challenges and completed the footbridge as swiftly as possible so that people and businesses can get back to some normality.”
Nigel Adams MP said: “The opening of the footbridge is great news for the residents and businesses of Tadcaster who have had to endure so much inconvenience over the last few weeks. It was a privilege to help officiate at the opening and the way that the town has shown resilience and community spirit since the floods has been incredible.”
Repairs to the bridge are expected to take 12 months, but North Yorkshire County Council, Selby District Council, Tadcaster Town Council and Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, immediately began to look at options for putting a temporary footbridge across the river to reunite the two sides of the town. A solution was found with the kind support of the town’s football club, Tadcaster Albion, which provided access to the proposed footbridge via its car park.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Balfour Beatty (www.balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 36,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings. Our main geographies are the UK, US, Middle East and South East Asia. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the world’s biggest shopping mall in Dubai, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.