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Archive August 12-14 2000

The piling operation is coming to an end with most of the foundations finished.

12/08 - Right -
The concrete pads, ready to support the 300 tonne crane.

12/08 - Left - Caison foundations on the down stream side of the bridge ready to support the steel plate girders.


12/08 - Right -
The piling machine at work

NYCC Press Release 04-8-00

MEMBERS of North Yorkshire's environmental services committee will next week (August 9) to consider the latest position in relation to the rebuilding of Mercury Bridge in Richmond.

As a matter of urgency the county council agreed to suspend standing orders so that contractors could be appointed within days of the incident.

Work to support the bridge with steel arches is now underway. When that is completed in September a feasibility study will be carried out to see if it is possible to reopen the bridge to pedestrians and light traffic.

The work to rebuild the bridge is currently on schedule and it is hoped to fully reopen it by December.

Members of the Richmond Town Tourism and Business Association have written to the county council's chief executive Jeremy Walker asking for a Bailey Bridge to be provided alongside the existing structure.

Talks have already been held with Army personnel from nearby Catterick Camp and they pointed out they could not undertake the task.

In a report to the urgency sub-committee the county council's director of environmental services, Mike Moore, points out that even if instructions were issued now it would not be possible to get a Bailey Bridge operational until mid-October.

The bridge would cost more than £370,000 and if the complete repair is on schedule it would then have only a two-month lifespan.

Mr Moore says: "That would not, in my opinion, be good value for money."

He is recommending that the Richmond and District Tourism and Business Association should be informed that the county council does not consider it would be an appropriate use of public funds to provide a temporary bridge.

But he does point out: "The Association needs to be reassured that everything is being done to restore traffic to the top of the existing bridge as soon as possible and to complete the reconstruction of the damaged bridge."

Contact: Mike Masterman at County Hall, ext 2128


THE COST of repairing the Mercury Bridge in Richmond has gone up to £1million according t o the latest report to members of North Yorkshire County Council's environmental services committee. The repairs are still on schedule to be completed in December.

Steel to support the listed structure will be on site this Friday (August 11) and installation of the plate girders will start next week. There is currently more work going ahead off-site than on-site as 200 tons of steel are prepared ready to support the bridge.

A 300-ton crane is needed to put the support steelwork in place. Its arrival on site will be timed to cause the least possible disruption to other traffic, and people, in the area.

Because of the urgency to get the bridge operational again as quickly as possible it will be necessary for the working hours on the site to be extended. That would be necessary to complete the temporary support works - on schedule - by the end of August. In early September a detailed risk assessment will be carried out to see if it is then possible for the bridge to carry pedestrians and light vehicles.

Mike Moore, North Yorkshire's director of environmental services, reassured councillors and members of the public who attended the meeting: "We are now entering a very critical phase of the whole operation and unless it is possible to extend working hours on the site then the whole restoration will be delayed."

Richmondshire District Council raised no objections to the extended working hours.

Mr Moore explained that even if the decision was given today to put a Bailey Bridge on the site it would not be ready until the middle or end of October at the earliest. It would cost £370,000. As repair work is on schedule to be completed in December the bridge would have a limited life expectancy. The request from Richmond Business and Tourism Association to provide a Bailey Bridge as an alternative river crossing has been be turned down by North Yorkshire County Council.

Contact: Mike Moore at County Hall, ext 2124

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