Gressingham Loyn Bridge

Update received on 14th January from the LCC Area Highways Manager:

Loyn Bridge Jan 12th_a

“We have started work to the bridge wing walls and to the collapsed carriageway at the Hornby side, and do not envisage any further problems with these issues.

With are extremely concerned about the structure of the bridge, and are relieved that there have not been repeats of the storms which could have resulted in the loss of this structure (which is Grade II* Listed and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument).

Both piers have been badly damaged by the flooding events and by debris in the river, and we are concerned at the displacement and loss of stonework. The bridge appears stable at the moment, and we have taken immediate measures to safeguard it by installing filter-bag protection. (Pic) These are placed immediately around the cutwaters to provide in-fill to the void, offer support to the structure and deflect the power of the water / debris in any subsequent storms.

Our main concern is that the lost stonework has exposed the rubble filling inside the core of the bridge and there is now significant loss of fill within the structure. Basically, the structure now contains substantial voids making the entire bridge unsafe to loads, and It is not safe to re-open the road until the bridge has been repaired. We are concerned about any loads being put on the structure at all.

This matter is with our Bridges Engineering team now, who are working on the repair solutions, as a priority. Clearly, permanent repairs will require favourable conditions in the river, and agreements with other parties (which are not always straight forward given the status of the bridge).

It is with regret, that I must inform you, that we anticipate that this bridge will remain closed until the end of April 2016. This is a reflection of the magnitude of the damage caused, and of our concern.

While we have already put together some plans to repair the piers, we still require the consent of English Heritage on issues such as the sourcing of acceptable new stone to replace that which has been lost, and there could be English Heritage consent issues with our plans for grouting the voids within the bridge structure itself.

We also need to agree a method of access and environmental consent concerned with undertaking substantial works within the river.

For information, we considered whether it was feasible to deploy a temporary bridge pending permanent repairs, but there are many factors that militate against this including: the width of the river, which would require temporary piers in the river channel; the terrain on the approaches, which would require substantial temporary approach ramps to be constructed and the timescale within which a temporary bridge could be constructed, which is of a similar duration to that required for the permanent repairs.”

 Neil Read
Gressingham Parish Council

Loyn Bridge Damage

Unfortunately, Loyn bridge has had to be closed again! The reason is that a tree trunk which has become lodged between the bridge supports, has been badly eroding the stonework on one of the supports.

lunebridge02 lunebridge01

The damage is so severe that the LCC has been forced to condemn the bridge as unsafe. With a further storm forecast, they are arranging for the tree to be cut and removed by specialists on Tuesday (29th Dec). The damage will then be assessed.

For safety reasons, the bridge is therefore closed until further notice to both vehicles and pedestrians. (The fire brigade have filled the plastic barriers with water – a truly immovable obstruction!)

The police have issued this warning:
‘We are receiving reports regarding people tampering with the road closures at the Loyn Bridge between Hornby and Gressingham. This puts the safety of local residents at risk. The bridge is currently closed due to damage and is closed for a reason. Engineers will be attending 29/12/15 to assess. If anyone witnesses someone tampering with the barriers please Tel us on 101 quoting log 515/281215.’

81A Shuttle Bus

The County Council and Stagecoach have agreed to provide a shuttle bus to service Gressingham, Arkholme Whittington and Kirkby Lonsdale. The bus will connect with the 81B for those passengers who wish to travel to and from Lancaster.

The service will commence on Monday the 21 December and will continue until either the route between Hornby and Gressingham is reopened, or the subsidies are withdrawn.

The Timetable can be downloaded from this link. It is in PDF format.

81A Update

Stagecoach posted the following announcement this morning:

Service 81A will not be operating via Gressingham Bridge so Arkholm, Whittington and Gressingham will not be served. The 15:42 81A school day journey from Kirkby Lonsdale will be able to run via Whittington, Arkholme and Gressingham. It will run to Lancaster via Halton not Hornby and Caton.

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