Survey works start at Apperley Bridge for flood defence proposals

23 July 2019 11:26 - BAM Nuttall Ltd
Apperley Bridge

Press release Environment Agency:) London, 22 July 2019 - Survey works are starting at a listed bridge in Bradford, to create a detailed design to reduce flood risk in the area for the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The work is being carried out by contractors BMMjv at Apperley Bridge starting today, Monday 22 July, and is expected to last 4 weeks. The survey is being done as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency.

The information is being gathered so the team can design a scheme that will use the upstream side of the bridge and the bridge parapets as part of flood defences there.

The bridge currently reduces the amount of water that can pass underneath it because of its arch structure, so it is being proposed to strengthen and raise the parapet walls slightly. The bridge will be restored to retain its appearance and protection will be provided underneath to reduce erosion.

During the survey, engineers will be drilling six boreholes through the existing Apperley Lane Bridge structure, which is formed of two bridges historically built at separate times alongside each other. They will be drilled using a rotary coring rig, from the carriageway down through the abutments and central pier, to help the team understand the construction of the existing bridge and provide valuable information on the substrata below the riverbed.

Small holes will also be drilled from below the bridge, drilling up through the stone arch so that engineers can calculate the load capacity of the bridge. This will be done using a floating pontoon on the River Aire.

Engineers will need access to the bridge to do the work, so a road closure and small diversion will be in place for approximately 3 to 4 weeks, commencing Monday 22 July. The bridge itself will be fully closed to traffic and pedestrians with a small diversion route for both via Harrogate Road. Access to all businesses will be maintained during the works.

The road closure has been agreed with Bradford Council’s highways team and will be managed by BAM Nuttall through its subcontractor Go Traffic Management. All of the survey work has been approved by Bradford Council.

Leeds City Council executive member for environment and active lifestyles Councillor Mohammed Rafique said: ‘This survey work is essential as part of our commitment to carrying out the next phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme and protecting communities all along the River Aire from the risk of flooding. Working with our partners the Environment Agency and BMMjv we will carry out this work as quickly as possible with disruption reduced as much as possible. We thank all road users and the local community for their patience and support while this important work is carried out.’

Flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, Adrian Gill said: ‘This is complex survey work to a listed bridge with historical significance, so great attention, care and detail has been made to do the survey work sensitively. We hope to carry out the work with minimum disruption to the local community while we gather information to help us reduce flood risk for the area.’

Stepped approach

Phase 2 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency, is a £112.1 million project which is being delivered in two steps.

The first step, starting this autumn, will use £65 million funding already secured from the government, alongside additional financial support from Leeds City Council and partners. This will reduce the risk of flooding along an 8km stretch of the River Aire from Leeds city centre through the A65 Kirkstall Road corridor and will provide an initial level of protection against the threat of flooding from the River Aire which equates to a 1 in 100 (1%) chance of flooding in any given year. This is the same standard that Phase 1 of the scheme currently provides to the city downstream of Leeds station.

The work at Apperley Bridge will form part of the second step of the scheme. Talks are continuing to secure the remainder of the funding to carry out the second step and complete the scheme in full which, pending further planning approval, would double the standard of protection offered by the whole Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

For more details on the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme visit: The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme website