05/10 - The Bridge is opened to light traffic
A welcome development for the townspeople and businesses of Richmond.
Below - The Mayor of Richmond, Councillor John Harris welcomes the first car over the bridge driven by the County Highways Chairman.
Richmond Online welcomed the opening of the bridge and stressed that we will continue to feature the bridge on the web site "we are committed to bringing full and up to date information about all developments on the bridge now and in the future."
The erosion of the river has exposed the piles which can be clearly seen supporting the caison which supports the steel structure. This shows the importance of the extensive piling operation that was ongoing for several weeks during July and August.
NYCC Press Release 05-10-00
MERCURY BRIDGE REOPENS TO LIGHT TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIANS
MERCURY BRIDGE in Richmond was today (5-10-'00) reopened to use by light traffic and pedestrians following an extensive rebuilding schedule. A temporary bridge is now in place on top of the existing bridge as part of the county council's rebuilding package costing about £1.5million.
The temporary bridge could not be put in place until the central pier had been stabilised with extensive piling work from the top. This was completed earlier this week. Work is now starting to repair the central pier in the river bed.
Councillor Peter Sowray, North Yorkshire County Council's environmental services executive member said: "Everyone connected with this project has worked tremendously hard to keep us on target during a very tight schedule."
Mike Moore, director of environmental services for North Yorkshire County Council, said: “We are still on schedule to have the bridge fully reopened to traffic by December and that is a terrific achievement. A lot of work was done behind the scenes and preparatory work on site was all-important. We had to ensure the work was carried out as quickly - but above all - as safely as possible."
As well as carrying pedestrians, the temporary bridge will cope with vehicles of less than 7.5tonnes. The traffic will be single line controlled by traffic lights and there will be a maximum width restriction of 2.4metres. Vehicles over 7.5tonnes and wider than 2.4metres will have to continue using the signed diversion route.
The county council will continue to provide a free bus service linking both sides of the river until the bridge is fully reopened to traffic.