VBA have reached the final stages of the demolition of the old Caldene Bridge, following the opening of a new wider span bridge in Mytholmroyd in May.
The original Caldene Bridge opened back in 1909, and was the first bridge in the country to be constructed of reinforced concrete. It was replaced in the early 1990’s by the present structure. The Caldene Bridge had to be replaced, as part of the wider Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme, as it was a major constriction to the flow of the river, and contributed towards the Boxing Day 2015 floods in Mytholmroyd.
The new bridge, which opened on Monday 18 May, has been designed to help reduce any flood risk in Mytholmroyd and the
surrounding areas. Excavation works beneath the new bridge are almost complete, making this area nearly twice the size of the one being demolished.
The removal of the old bridge took VBA, a joint venture between VolkerStevin, Boskalis and SNC Lavalin’s Atkins business, took four weeks to complete. The removal was undertaken in three stages: the installation of temporary scaffolding, to allow contractors to safely access all the areas needed to be dismantled; breaking out the road surface of the whole of the bridge deck, and lifting out the beams using a crane.
Following the relocation of Caldene Bridge, the project in its entirety will comprise new raised and improved flood walls, widening of the river channel at key locations, as well as flood proofing buildings next to the river.
Paul Swales, senior flood risk advisor for the Environment Agency, said: “We would like to thank local people and the wider community for their patience, understanding and cooperation during the disruption caused throughout construction.
“There is still work to do, but opening the new bridge and demolishing the old one is a major milestone for the project, and will help better protect residents and businesses in Mytholmroyd from flooding in the future.”
Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme, which commenced in 2018, is set to complete later this year. Once completed, the scheme will provide improved protection to around 400 homes and businesses in the areas around Mytholmroyd Church, Cragg Brook, Greenhills Industrial Estate, Caldene Bridge and up-stream to Hawks Clough Bridge.