Bridge closed after lorry crash
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A LORRY driver has blamed his satellite navigation system for the smash which led to the closure of Eggleston Bridge for up to two weeks.
Part of the parapet of the narrow bridge across the River Tees was demolished when a large flat-bed truck tried to cross it on Wednesday afternoon.
County council officers have closed the bridge for up to 14 days to make repairs.
The driver, who was travelling from Bedale to Middleton-in-Teesdale, said he was following his lorry's navigation system when he turned off the B6282 onto the B6281 road towards the bridge.
The rear left wheels struck the parapet, causing damage to the lorry's mudguard and sending stones from the bridge tumbling into the River Tees.
A passing motorist from Mickleton alerted county officers to the problem.
County Councillor Richard Bell said he spoke to county officers in an attempt to limit the time the bridge is closed.
He added: “They have a 14 day road closure order backdated to Wednesday and they reckon the work will take a week.”
While he had hoped vehicles could use the bridge before the works began, Cllr Bell was informed that scaffolding needed to be installed ahead of stonemasons being called in.
Durham County Council has confirmed the bridge has been closed.
Brian Buckley, strategic highways manager at Durham County Council, said: “We were made aware that a vehicle crossing Eggleston Bridge on Wednesday afternoon hit the structure, causing a large section of the wall to collapse. For safety reasons, we had no choice but to close the bridge. Our inspectors have been onsite assessing the damage and repairs will be carried out as a matter of urgency. Due to the narrow nature of the bridge, repairs cannot be undertaken without a full closure. Scaffolding is due to be erected over the weekend and once this is complete we will endeavour to complete the work and reopen the bridge as soon as possible.
“A diversion route is in place with signs up in the area to advise road users and we’d like to thank all those affected for their patience.”