North Yorkshire County Council’s Richmondshire constituency committee will hear colossal bridge beams and permanent formwork used to speed construction have been lifted into place in three operations that included a night-time “possession” of the Teesside to Northallerton railway line.
The meeting on Wednesday will be told the bridge has been built to allow sufficient headroom for future electrication of the line, while work is ongoing on the construction of the reinforced concrete channel for a beck.
Hopes that the scheme will be concluded imminently follow several setbacks for the scheme which gained planning approval in 2015, amid Hambleton councillors’ pledges that work would begin on it the following spring in response to a barrage of objections over plans to build a large estate in the area.
Work on the three-span structure and link road started in April 2017 and excitement built in the town after a sign was erected stating it would open in spring 2019, before developers announced there had been further setbacks.
The new link road and overbridge will join two new developments to the northern side of Northallerton, to accommodate all traffic and provide an attractive east-west route particularly for HGVs that currently have to travel to the town centre or use Friarage Street to travel between the A167 and A684 east of Northallerton.
The new route, which has been mostly built on farmland, has been designed to negate the need for users to use Low Gates level crossing and pass through Northallerton town centre.
In a report to the meeting, officers said Eric Wright Civil Engineering were scheduled to complete the works in late January.
It states: “Highways officers continue to work with the developers, their contractors and Network Rail to ensure that the works are delivered in a timely manner and constructed to the necessary standards. Once the bridge is completed final works and checks on the full route of the link road will be undertaken before the complete route is opened to through traffic.”
While works to address the flooding issues on the A684 near the new roundabout are outside of the bridge construction contract, they are viewed as key to the overall North Northallerton development, which will see hundreds more homes, a school, a community centre and shops built in the area.
The flooding concerns wil be tackled through a new road crossing of the A684 from the existing drainage system in the eastern verge to a new manhole west of the A684. A pipe will then be connected to the manhole and taken across the field to outfall into the Stell. This will take the land water and some of the road water from the east side of the A684 to the Stell.