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Airlift replaces Yorkshire Dales bridge

[Wednesday 04 April 2007]
bridge airlift
Airlift replaces damaged bridge

THERE were spectacular scenes recently when a one and a half tonne foot bridge was airlifted into place across a ravine in the Yorkshire Dales.

The site for the £20,000 timber bridge over Fosse Gill, at Bewerley near Pateley Bridge was inaccessible by road so a helicopter had to be used to carefully lower it into place.

The new bridge was welcomed by local walkers, who have been unable to cross the ravine since the former footbridge, which had fallen into disrepair, was closed two weeks ago.

North Yorkshire County Council's highways department funded the bridge which was assembled at an adjacent farm from a kit produced by Huddersfield engineering firm, CTS Ltd.

It forms part of the moors and woodland walk (Bewerley footpath no. 47) popular with ramblers and day trippers to Nidderdale.

Gordon Gresty, North Yorkshire's corporate director for business and environmental services, was delighted with the new bridge. He said: "This is great news for the people of Bewerley and Pateley Bridge and the many hundreds who travel to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquillity of Nidderdale.

"It's easy to take footpaths and rights of way for granted, but as we've seen today, a lot of work goes into their maintenance.

"But anyone who visits will agree that it's well worth the effort. It looks great.

"I'm thrilled that the work has gone ahead so smoothly, thanks to the dedication of our staff, our contractors Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Services and our new consultants, Jacobs."

North Yorkshire County Council is responsible for the upkeep of the 8,311 public footpaths and public bridleways in North Yorkshire that lie outside the North Yorkshire Moors and Dales national parks - a network totalling 6049 kilometres.

The Authority this week began a public consultation on its network of Bridleways - for more information see Tuesday's Yorkshire Dales News.

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