An obstruction to the water flow on the River Nidd in Knaresborough has been removed by the Environment Agency, reducing a potential localised flood risk.
Timber and other floating debris can accumulate against the central pier of Low Bridge, situated on the western edge of the town, and if left unchecked this mass could eventually grow large enough to block the bridge’s arches.
An operations team from the Environment Agency attended on Sunday, September 2, to remove the debris, scheduling the work on a Sunday to minimise disruption to road traffic. The team used chainsaws to cut up the branches, accessing them from a raft. The wood was then removed by a crane situated on the bridge.
The B6163, which runs over Low Bridge, was closed for much of the day by North Yorkshire County Council.
Richard Marwood, operations delivery team leader at the Environment Agency, said:
This operation is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing work to reduce the risk of flooding to people and properties. Clearing the debris at Low Bridge is quite an important job because it can and does accumulate against the central pier of the bridge, and if it isn’t removed it would eventually block the water flow underneath the bridge arches. It usually needs to be done every two years.
The bridge itself is maintained by North Yorkshire Council, so they helped us out by organising the road closure.
If anyone notices any debris or obstructions in their local river, please report it to the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.