18 Jul 2023
Plan ahead: Diversions in place for two-night closure of Otley Bridge (B6451) starting 7pm Tuesday 18 July
Otley Bridge will close in both directions to all vehicles over two nights on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 July from 7pm-6am for inspection of defects and safety investigation.
It will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists who will use a segregated walkway controlled by marshals. A fully signed diversion for vehicles will be in place via the A658 Pool in Wharfedale bridge crossing.
The ancient seven span stone bridge and Scheduled Ancient Monument is almost 800 years old and carries the B6451 over the River Wharfe, which links two halves of Otley town. In the 1950s a cantilevered pedestrian concrete walkway was added to improve safety, as traffic use grew.
The timing is scheduled to avoid conflict with the current surfacing works at Dyneley Arms and the planned works at Harewood Bridge. The closure follows reports of defects in the walkway and Leeds City council are looking to urgently investigate whether further repairs will be needed.
The inspection will use an underbridge unit to access the underside of the walkway which will require a road closure on the bridge. The council are working as fast as it can and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause.
The full diversion route sees traffic from the north diverted via the B6451 Farnley Lane, then Farnley Park and the B6161 Leathley Lane to the join A658 at Pool in Wharfedale, then on to the A659 Pool Road to Otley. Vehicles from the south will follow the reverse direction.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, said:
“Otley Bridge is an ancient crossing in the centre of the town. By carrying out this urgent investigation at night-time with lower traffic levels, we can hopefully quickly identify the extent of the defects.
“We apologise in advance for the potential disruption and ask road users for their patience. The urgency requires some short-term inconvenience to ascertain potential further works on this vital crossing in the town.
"We would please like to urge motorists to plan their journey in advance, follow the signed diversion and allow a bit of extra time for their travel. We have put together a signed diversion via www.leeds.gov.uk/planahead and again, thank you for your patience.”
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