Closure of Sedbergh Bridge on the C5101 (known locally as Millthrop bridge)

Updated 28 October 2019

On the afternoon of 14 October 2019, Millthrop Bridge over the river Rawthey, on the road between Sedbergh and Dent (C5101), suffered significant damage following an impact from an HGV. A large section of the parapet wall has fallen away together with some stonework that forms part of the bridge arch. As a result the road is unsupported on one side and the bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic for safety reasons. A pedestrian walkway has been provided on the opposite side of the bridge to maintain pedestrian access across the bridge.

We have now completed our assessment of the damage to the bridge and County Council structural engineers have been working on the design solution to repair the bridge. We have worked closely with both Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), who grant listed building consents, and Environment Agency (EA) to develop a temporary solution that will allow reopening of the bridge as soon as possible.

We're pleased to say that the repair works are due to start (weather permitting) to prepare the site, with scaffolding work on Wednesday 30 October 2019. The temporary works are estimated to take a week to complete and after which the bridge will reopen to light vehicles. Please note that the bridge will remain closed during this construction period and the diversion route (which is clearly signed) from Sedbergh to Dent will continue to be via the A684, A683 and Barbondale. 

Temporary scaffolding will be erected on the bridge and cantilevered out over the side to create a platform for our team to carry out the temporary rebuilding. The spandrel wall will be rebuilt using concrete blockwork with cementitious mortar. The parapets will not be rebuilt but instead we will be erecting temporary concrete barriers which will sit partly on the new spandrel wall and partly on the carriageway thereby reducing the width of the bridge further.  

Once the temporary works are complete it is expected that traffic will be able to cross the bridge under temporary traffic light signals. These will remain in place until the permanent works take place. Additional signing will be provided as this route will be suitable for light vehicles only.

The permanent bridge repairs will require the damaged spandrel and parapet walls to be rebuilt to support the carriageway using existing stonework which we have been able to recover. The bridge, which was built in the 17th Century and is a Grade II listed structure, will require repairs to be carried out using traditional lime mortar which requires a period of up to three months frost free weather to gain adequate strength. For this reason we will not be able to undertake this repair until next spring once we are confident the risk of frost is negligible.

Further updates will be provided in due course.