A LANDMARK suspension bridge, damaged in the Boxing Day floods, is proving to be a bridge too far for Lancashire County Council.
Residents on either side of the River Ribble at Dinckley and Hurst Green are still waiting to learn the fate of the striking footbridge , which has been closed since December 26 last year.
As flood waters rose dramatically and the river raged the bridge, built in 1951 to replace the Dinckley ferry, bent and was covered in debris.
Hurst Green Parish Councillor David Bland said: “It wants fixing. It’s been a very useful means for people to do some good walks. It brings people into local pubs and cafes. We don’t want to see it out of use for too long.”
While Mr Tom Hoyle, clerk to Dinckley Parish Meeting, said: “It is right by the Ribble Way and is used by many, many people who walk over to Hurst Green. It’s cut out a lot of enjoyment for a lot of people.”
A County Council spokesman said “The damage caused to Dinckley suspension bridge during the winter storms has left us needing to carefully consider a number of complex issues and options to reach the best solution for its long term future.
“We have carried out detailed investigations into the condition of the bridge and are currently putting together a report setting out the issues and options. We’re keen to keep people informed of progress and will let people know more about the next steps as soon as we can.”
The bridge was designed by the County Council and the project was led by County Surveyor and Bridgemaster, James Drake, later Sir James Drake, CBE.
It was built by the council’s own workers at a cost of £2,500 and was officially opened by Sir Frederick Hindle, the chairman of the Highways and Bridges Committee.
Its centre span was previously destroyed by flooding in 1981, but cables and parts were salvaged and the deck rebuilt.