Members of the public are being urged to avoid the footpath connecting St James Green with Marage Road in Thirsk which is in danger of collapsing into the river.
North Yorkshire County Council has closed the public right of way after reports of cracks and movement of the pavement.
Inspections have revealed that erosion has raised concerns about the retaining wall of the riverbank adjacent to Cod Beck and the safety of the footbridge.
Repairs were carried out in 2015 to ensure the well-used footpath could remain open, but this latest development means it is currently unsafe to use.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd, local member for Thirsk, said:
We realise the closure of this popular footpath and footbridge is a great inconvenience for many people and I wish to assure you that we are doing everything we can to investigate all the options.
The last thing we want to see is the closure of this path – I use it along with hundreds if not thousands of others – but we cannot risk the footpath collapsing into the river with potentially tragic consequences.
We face complex challenges and so are looking into how we can move forward on this. We will be in discussion with all stakeholders, including the landowner and we will keep the public informed every step of the way.
Anybody wishing to access St James Green should do so via Bridge Street.