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Elland Bridge has finally re-opened after more than a year out of action

Community celebrates 're-connection' of Elland now bridge has been restored

Elland Bridge has finally re-opened!

The former 19th century bridge, which runs over the River Calder and the Calder and Hebble Navigation, was destroyed in the Boxing Day 2015 floods.

Today, following completion of an extensive £5 million rebuild project, the Elland community welcomed the bridge’s reinstatement.

Leader of Calderdale Council , Clr Tim Swift, said: “This is a hugely important day for Elland. The community has been incredibly resilient since the devastating floods, but we know that everyone has been eager to see the bridge fully open. Now that we’ve reached this major milestone the community can start to properly get back on its feet.”

Watch toddlers' tiny steps as Elland Bridge footpath re-opens

Clr Swift, was joined by Simon Bamford, of the Canal & River Trust, to cut the ribbon to officially re-open the bridge and reconnect the town.

Brooksbank School Sports College brass band played as the first vehicle – a minibus carrying people from all parts of the Elland community – crossed the bridge.

Elland C of E Junior and Infant School choir also joined in the celebrations and performed a song they had written about flood-hit bridge.

Joanne Wood, owner of nearby Water’s Edge Day Nursery, said: “It’s going to make a big difference for us to have the bridge finally back up and running.

“We’ve had over a year of disruption which has made it difficult for parents and staff to get to and from the nursery.

“We are glad it’s been restored and today is a great day for us and the community.”

Resident Karen Ward added: “What should have been a five minute journey was taking 25 minutes without the bridge.

“We’re glad to have it back.”

To ensure the new bridge maintains its character, workers on site painstakingly recovered stone from the original 1811 bridge which has now been used to recovered the new structure.

Clr Swift added: “The rebuilt bridge will be much stronger and more flood resilient, whilst preserving most of the original historic features, and it will serve the community well for many years to come.”

Flood-damaged Calderdale bridge now completely dismantled

Rebuilding the 1811, Grade II listed bridge has been a ‘complex’ operation involving around 25 major utility cables and pipes had to be redirected. The work has been financed through the Department for Transport flood recovery fund.

The reopening of the bridge to vehicles comes after it opened to pedestrians and cyclists last month.

A ceremony is now planned for re-opening of the canal and towpath in March.

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