Collapsed bridge affects lives and businesses in Teesdale village

The Northern Echo: The collapsed bridge which is impacting on the lives and businesses of Ovington residents The collapsed bridge which is impacting on the lives and businesses of Ovington residents

VILLAGERS cut off from a major commuter route when a landside caused a bridge to collapse say it has had a drastic impact on their lives.

The collapse of the bridge in Ovington, Teesdale, County Durham, last month split the village in two and made it difficult for residents on the stranded side to access the main road out of the village.

Many villagers now face an extra several miles and half-an-hour's driving time for each round-trip to nearby towns such as Darlington.

Hazel Watt, a chartered accountant who has lived in the village for 32-years, said: "I have been affected most drastically - I cannot get to the pub.

"I am the wrong side of the bridge and I refuse to drive an extra five miles to get to the pub. Why should I have to do that?”

Her frustration is shared by staff at the Four Alls Inn in Ovington, who confirmed the business had been affected by the collapse.

There are also fears for the village hall, where a Post Office operates twice a week.

Dave Dixon, 53, a member of Ovington Parish Council, said the closure had made the village hall’s car park inaccessible.

"It is an important source of income for us so we are worried,” he added.

On December 23, The Northern Echo reported how the stone bridge, which has a 7.5t weight limit, had closed for the second time in as many months.

A landslide on November 28 had resulted in a temporary closure, but the bridge was reopened as a single lane controlled by traffic lights.

However, heavy rain at the end of December caused the bridge to sink down an embankment and it has been shut ever since.

The village is accessible from the south via Hutton Magna, but traffic from Winston is being diverted via Caldwell.

Residents say heavy farm traffic, as well as lorries, which pass through the village to avoid accidents and closures on the A66, had put the bridge under strain.

A spokesperson for Durham County Council said an investigation was underway to establish the nature and extent of the failure that caused the slippage.

"Only when these works are complete will it be possible to draw up an action plan to determine when repair works can be undertaken,” he said.

The spokesperson said a “quick fix” was unlikely, but reassured residents the work would be carried out as soon as possible.

Comments (4)

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5:55pm Sun 6 Jan 13

sensible says...

why exactly can a quick fix not be sorted out? If the council had a mind to, they could do a temporary fix in just a couple of days, while they worked on a complete fix!
why exactly can a quick fix not be sorted out? If the council had a mind to, they could do a temporary fix in just a couple of days, while they worked on a complete fix! sensible

6:02pm Sun 6 Jan 13

stevegg says...

Have a look on youtube 'Ovington Bridge' for the promiotional video of underpinning repair work carried out in February 2012 on behalf of DCC by a private contractor at huge cost to the public purse which completely failed 9 months later in the exact spot the underpinning work was done. No doubt their will have been no guaruntee by the contarcators and no refund of taxpayers money knowing how inept council contracts are awarded. If it had been the other way round the taxpayer would be forking out hundreds of thousands to a private company. At least they are honest saying there will be no quick fix, most likely 6 months at the minimum in which time the pub will have probably been forced to close.
Have a look on youtube 'Ovington Bridge' for the promiotional video of underpinning repair work carried out in February 2012 on behalf of DCC by a private contractor at huge cost to the public purse which completely failed 9 months later in the exact spot the underpinning work was done. No doubt their will have been no guaruntee by the contarcators and no refund of taxpayers money knowing how inept council contracts are awarded. If it had been the other way round the taxpayer would be forking out hundreds of thousands to a private company. At least they are honest saying there will be no quick fix, most likely 6 months at the minimum in which time the pub will have probably been forced to close. stevegg

6:37pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Peterupnorth says...

The only other road out of the village regularly floods at a dangerous 'S' bend at the entrance to the village and the signposted back road 'diversion' route has dangerous pot holes and also floods in three places, plus it is not gritted or ploughed on the Yorkshire (Caldwell) side meaning that if the weather turns for the worse only people with a 4X4 will be able to get in or out of the village. Durham County Council has known for around 10 years that the bridge was unstable due (in many villagers opinion) to HGV's illegally using the road daily as a short cut between the A66 and the A67 but they did nothing to either stop the heavy traffic or maintain the bridge apart from a minor surface dressing and a bit of pointing. In February last year the bridge was 'saved' by a company which came in and underpinned the bridge. Now one side of the road, the pavement and the bridge wall has collapsed completely.
The only other road out of the village regularly floods at a dangerous 'S' bend at the entrance to the village and the signposted back road 'diversion' route has dangerous pot holes and also floods in three places, plus it is not gritted or ploughed on the Yorkshire (Caldwell) side meaning that if the weather turns for the worse only people with a 4X4 will be able to get in or out of the village. Durham County Council has known for around 10 years that the bridge was unstable due (in many villagers opinion) to HGV's illegally using the road daily as a short cut between the A66 and the A67 but they did nothing to either stop the heavy traffic or maintain the bridge apart from a minor surface dressing and a bit of pointing. In February last year the bridge was 'saved' by a company which came in and underpinned the bridge. Now one side of the road, the pavement and the bridge wall has collapsed completely. Peterupnorth

6:40pm Mon 7 Jan 13

livingnorth says...

Perhaps Ms Watt could enjoy walking to the pub since it is only a short stroll away and the bridge is still passable on foot. Good for the environment and the walker!
Perhaps Ms Watt could enjoy walking to the pub since it is only a short stroll away and the bridge is still passable on foot. Good for the environment and the walker! livingnorth

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