County council may build new bridge across Ribble

Dinckley footbridge at the height of the December floods (s)
Dinckley footbridge at the height of the December floods (s)
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A LANDMARK bridge over the Ribble Ribble, which was damaged in the Boxing Day floods, looks set to be replaced.

But whether the county council opts for repair or a new build the river crossing at Dinckley Suspension Bridge is likely to remain closed for at least another year.

The damaged Dinckley Suspension Bridge near Hurst Green - closed after the Ribble  burst its banks on December 26

The damaged Dinckley Suspension Bridge near Hurst Green - closed after the Ribble burst its banks on December 26

The pedestrian bridge, built in 1951 at a cost of £2,500, was seriously damaged when flood waters raged, covering it with debris on Boxing Day last year.

It links Dinckley with Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley at the site of an old ferry crossing and is also accessed from the Marles Wood beauty spot.

Doncaster company Bridon International was called in to inspect the bridge’s cables and it was discovered although the cables were not damaged, the hangers which attach to the cables and the deck were.

It is the second time the bridge has been damaged by floodwaters and work is also needed on its north bank foundations.

Local County Coun Alan Schofield said: “Council engineers are currently looking at options for a new bridge so that detailed estimates can be prepared to ensure that available funding is adequate. This is deemed preferable to repairs which, albeit possible, may not be cost effective in the longer-term. A replacement bridge would enable inclusion of a greater clearance to the river...at this stage it’s anticipated that works will not commence until summer 2017 when river conditions are most favourable. Local consultation will be an important part of any proposals for the bridge, and I expect that to include Dinckley Parish.”

A council spokesman said: “We are currently looking into the practicalities and cost of replacing part or all of the bridge which may allow us to mitigate the risk of similar damage.”