Major repairs on historic Bubwith bridge reach halfway point

Major repairs to 18th-century Bubwith bridge are progressing on schedule, according to contractor Esh Construction.

A 15-week scheme to deliver emergency repair and strengthening works to the structure got under way 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 the headwall and parapet. 

Originally built in 1798 and a Grade II listed structure, all repairs being undertaken are sympathetic to the existing bridge and its surroundings.  

The project is due to complete at the end of October.  

The first phase of works saw the installation of an encapsulated scaffold which allowed grit blasting, steel girder reinforcement and masonry repairs to the parapets to be carried out safely.  

At the halfway point, masonry repairs which include the use of steel staples to pin the stonework together for additional strength are now complete, and the steel girders have been refurbished.  

The next critical phase will see specialist vacuum excavation works undertaken to remove the fill from the eastern and western bridge arches, this will allow steel anchors and concrete infill to be installed to further strengthen the structure. 

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

Steven Garrigan, divisional director for Esh Construction’s civil engineering division, said: “We are pleased with progress to date and remain on schedule.  

“We understand the strain the closure of the bridge is having on the local area and as such made a commitment to procure local suppliers and sub-contractors where possible to do so given the specialist nature of some of the trades required. 

“I am delighted to report that more than half of the contract value has been re-invested within 20 miles of the site.”

He said the team had so far overcome obstacles to remain on track with the project but added: “We would like to remind everyone that the risk of uncovering further structural issues still remains high, but we are working collaboratively with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to ensure they are fully informed every step of the way.”  

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’d like to thank Esh Construction for being so accommodating with its work schedules to help speed up this work so we could plan for the bridge to be reopened sooner, and for its support of local businesses during this scheme.” 

Additional work to be delivered in the coming weeks includes the installation of a vehicle restraint system to prevent any future damage of a similar nature, as well as kerbing, ducting, surfacing and road marking. 

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