A West Yorkshire town has been told its flood-damaged bridge is beyond repair and will not be replaced for a least a year.
The extensive damage to the crossing of Elland Bridge in Elland, near Halifax, mean that it will not reopen until December this year at the earliest.
The damage, along with the well-publicised partial collapse of the bridge in Tadcaster, 35 miles away - has highlighted the dramatic and costly impact of December’s deluge on infrastructure in the north of England.
As well as the Tadcaster and Elland examples, a 180-year-old bridge collapsed in Copley, near Halifax, and a major route north of Leeds has been disrupted by the indefinite closure of Linton Bridge, which links the villages of Linton and Collingham, due to severe structural concerns.
In Elland, the bridge was closed last week. Huge cracks appeared in the stonework and dips developed in the carriageway as unprecedented flooding lifted canal boats on to dry land and sunk other vessels.
Calderdale Council is Labour controlled and the party said on its local website: “It is the view of Calderdale Highways, the Canal and River Trust (CRT - which owns the bridge structure) and their contractors that a new bridge will be required to replace the existing damaged structure.
“We have requested CRT make an immediate start to designing a replacement for Elland Bridge.
“Unfortunately this will be a major project and initial estimates are that a new bridge would not be in operation until at least December 2016.”
In Tadcaster, divers inspected the stricken bridge at the end of last week and were able to provide engineers with a full inspection report.