YP Letters: A temporary road bridge can be built at Tadcaster, says former council engineer

The damaged bridge at Tadcaster. Picture: James Hardisty.
The damaged bridge at Tadcaster. Picture: James Hardisty.
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From: Jeffrey Stansfield OBE, CEng, FICE, Formerly County Surveyor of Suffolk, Upper Hall View, Northowram, Halifax.

I HAVE studied the situation regarding the broken and now closed river bridge in 
Tadcaster, and it seems to me that there is sufficient land adjacent to the north side of 
the bridge, and on both sides 
of the river, for the installation of a temporary Bailey-type structure to reconnect both 
sides of the town while a replacement bridge is 
built.

The Bailey Bridge could be linked to the existing road on both sides of the river by a temporary road, sufficient in width and alignment to carry weight-restricted traffic under a traffic signal controlled single-way system, which would provide two-way movement on an alternate basis.

The temporary bridge would be located in a position leaving sufficient room for the eventual permanent structure to be built in the present location.

I was responsible for the installation of a similar provision on the A43 trunk road at Bulwick in Northamptonshire some 35 years ago, where a river bridge had been condemned and a replacement was urgently required. On that occasion, the Army were most useful partners in providing this form of solution by making available Bailey Bridge from their depot in Wiltshire.

We had an effective vehicular crossing of the river in place in record time, and at an acceptable cost. So come on, civil engineers in Yorkshire, get a grip of this problem in the way I have outlined.

From: Gerald Hodgson, Spennithorne, Leyburn.

I WAS on the point of writing with the suggestion of the use of a Bailey Bridge to cross the river at Tadcaster when I read the letter from Hugh Laird making this suggestion all the way from Australia (The Yorkshire Post, January 7).

Mr Laird makes the point that even in Papua New Guinea there would have been a replacement bridge up in three days . I was a National Serviceman in the Royal Engineers in 1960 and was taught to erect one of these bridges which are constructed from modular sections to build a Meccano like structure capable of carrying heavy vehicles. It can even be done just with manpower, and without the use of cranes.

During the Second World War, Bailey Bridges were used to cross the Thames. Surely this well tried technology can be used to cross the far smaller Wharfe at Tadcaster?