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Skipton on Swale bridge to be restored to former glory

[Wednesday 6 October 2010]

North Yorkshire County Council's bridge engineers are set to begin the painstaking work of restoring Skipton on Swale Bridge to its historic glory.

The bridge, which carries the A61 over the River Swale at Skipton on Swale dates from 1781 and is a listed structure. It was designed by John Carr , who began his career in 1748 and became a prolific English architect, including a spell as bridgemaster for the North and West Ridings of Yorkshire.

The county council's engineers have been working in consultation with English Heritage with a view to restoring the bridge to its original state, combining modern engineering with traditional craftsmanship to create a bridge that is beautiful and historically true while designed to carry the heavy traffic volumes of today.

The restoration works will involve the removal and replacement of extensive areas of heavily weathered masonry to both parapets including stringcourses, copings, pilasters, cut waters and spandrel walls.

An eight week road closure will be in place from the 11th October 2010 with a signed diversion route. During the closure every attempt will be made to maintain access to properties and businesses within the closure.

North Yorkshire County Council apologises for any inconvenience that may be caused and assures that every attempt will be made to keep this to a minimum; however the restoration work is essential to protect the bridge. During the closure a temporary river crossing for pedestrians will be constructed.

County Councillor Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire's Executive Member for Highways said:

"John Carr left the county with a legacy of many beautiful, historic bridges. Crossing the Skipton on Swale bridge will be like stepping back in time; when the work is finished it will look as it did when John Carr first built it but structurally it will be designed to withstand the demands of 21st century traffic. We hope this essential work will make the bridge good for another two hundred years."

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