Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Lancashire County Council has announced plans to restore a suspension bridge which carries a rural footpath across the River Ribble.
The Dinckley footbridge has been closed since being badly damaged during the widespread flooding which hit the North West in December 2015.
The council plans to replace the bridge in summer 2018, with preparatory surveys, design work, and planning for the project to take place this year.
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The damage caused to Dinckley footbridge during the winter storms of 2015 left us needing to carefully consider a number of issues and options about its future.
"The floods caused severe damage to the deck and the hangers which attach to the suspension cables.
"After considering options for repair or replacement we have concluded that the most appropriate course of action is to replace it. On top of the damage caused in 2015, the bridge is over 60 years old and its condition is deteriorating, meaning it would need considerable maintenance in the near future in any case.
"The bridge has also been damaged in previous floods, and replacing it would allow us to raise the height of the deck to reduce the likelihood of it being damaged again in future storms."
A considerable amount of preparation work will be needed before construction could begin on site, which means that the earliest it could be done is summer 2018. To reach that stage, further work will first be needed to consider detailed options for the replacement scheme, put the work out to tender, fabricate the bridge, and plan the construction.
County Councillor Fillis added: "We intend to tender the work this year and carry out the replacement in summer 2018. It would not be feasible to start any earlier as the work will need to take place from May to September when water levels are lower, and design, planning, and fabrication of the bridge needs to take place before we can get on site. The location is quite remote, and that in itself will present extra challenges that we don't have with most bridge repairs.
"I know that people who previously used this bridge for their regular walks are very keen for it to be open again, and I'm grateful for their patience while we work to replace the bridge, which will provide a long term solution."
The county council has allocated funding for the project from a pot received from the Department for Transport to repair infrastructure damaged during the 2015 floods.
Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel