Three iron bridges badly damaged in the Christmas floods are being removed in Calderdale.

Work has started by the Environment Agency to remove three iron footbridges which collapsed over the River Calder in Sowerby Bridge but has been postponed until next week after water levels in the river have risen.

Specialist equipment including a 150 tonne crane and underwater burning equipment will be used to remove the largest of the three footbridges which were all washed out.

Two of the bridges are in the river bed close to their original location, but the third was washed 1km downstream by the flood waters.

Watch reporter David Himelfield take a walk across the new (temporary) Elland Bridge below

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One of the three bridges was washed out on December 13 with two further bridges going during the Boxing Day flooding. While two of the bridges can be removed by contractors working in the river channel, the third, which is a much larger structure, will need specialist equipment to cut and lift it from the river.

Watch army of volunteers help clean up canal in Elland after Boxing Day floods

Environment Agency Asset Performance team leader Louis Harvey said: “We are carrying out an extensive programme of work right across Yorkshire to inspect and repair defences damaged in the December floods. This work also includes identifying the potential for flood risks caused by structures such as these footbridges.

READ MORE: Repair bill for flood-damaged Calderdale is expected to top £50m

“The largest of the bridges will need to be split into sections while it’s still in the river channel as it’s too big for it to be lifted safely. Divers will use underwater burning equipment to split it up in situ and once these pieces are removed by crane from the river we’ll be able to cut it up further and remove it from site.”

The removal work is expected to take up to two weeks to complete.