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7:23 PM 14th May 2020

A New Bridge Opens – A Major Milestone For Mytholmroyd Flood Defences

The first beam of the new bridge in Mytholmroyd was lifted into place by a 100 tonne crane
The first beam of the new bridge in Mytholmroyd was lifted into place by a 100 tonne crane
The new bridge, designed to help reduce flood risk in Mytholmroyd, is planned to open to motorists and pedestrians next week on Monday 18 May.

This is a major milestone in the £35m Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme which will better protect around 400 properties.

The existing Caldene Bridge will start to be demolished shortly after and excavation works is already underway to widen this section of the river. All work is being carried out in line with government and industry guidance for safe working during the coronavirus pandemic.

The area beneath the new bridge will be nearly twice the size of the old bridge, which will help better protect homes and businesses from the risk of flooding in the future.

Replacement of the existing Caldene Bridge is a vital part of the Mytholmroyd flood defences. The old bridge was a major constriction to flood flow, and contributed towards the Boxing Day 2015 flood event in the village. Widening the river channel at Calder Grove, will have a significant benefit for reducing flood risk in the village and this required a new wider bridge.

The new bridge has been built at the widened channel, 30m upstream of the existing bridge. It is a two-span structure, with a central pier and is more than 12m wider than the existing Caldene Bridge. The height of the bridge deck was dictated by the existing road levels on both Caldene Avenue and Burnley Road

Paul Swales, senior flood risk advisor for the Environment Agency, said:

"Completing the construction of the new bridge is a major milestone for our project team as this has been by far the most complex part of the Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme - we have had to carry out diversions of many utility services.

"It is a vital element of the new flood defences as the new bridge structure, channel widening, together with the new raised bridge parapets and flood defence walls will reduce flood risk for the local community.

"However it is still really important that people sign up for our free flood warning service as we can never completely eradicate the risk of flooding, especially with climate change."

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:

"We’re very pleased to see another major component of the Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation scheme nearing completion.

"The scale and complexity of this project cannot be overemphasised, and we would like to thank those who live in, work in and travel through the area for their continued patience during this important work to help protect the village from future flooding. There is still more to do but this is a key part of in the overall work to make the valley safer."

The flood defences have been developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with Calderdale Council. Design and construction of the scheme is being carried out by main contractor VBA, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business. Work is continuing on the scheme in line with government and industry guidelines around safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

The cost of rebuilding the bridge has been around £7m from Government funding with a £1.6m contribution from the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).This funding was provided under Priority Axis 5 of the ERDF which promotes climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management.