The wait is finally over for the community in Elland with a day of celebrations planned on Sunday to mark the official reopening of Elland Bridge, the canal and towpath.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones will officially reopen Elland Bridge, the canal and towpath as part of a free community celebration event.
There will be a variety of entertainment and activities for the whole family from 10am to 4pm, with the official reopening due to take place along the Calder and Hebble Navigation at around 12 noon.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “It is great to see the reopening of Elland Bridge which reconnects the local community and helps families and businesses return to normal.
“We have stood firmly behind those hit by the devastating storms of winter 2015, providing £5.5 million to help rebuild the bridge and I pay tribute to all those who have worked so hard to make this happen.”
Some of the things that people will be able to see and do at the event include:
· An opportunity to get on the water with boat trips provided by Calder Navigation Society and canoe taster sessions for all ages
· Fairground stalls
· Entertainment provided by the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival organisers, including face painting, circus acts, magic, stilt walkers and musicians
· Historically dressed costumed characters
· Exploring vintage buses from Keighley Vintage Bus Museum
· A photographic slideshow and talk hosted by Halifax Photographic Society, showing their visual story of Elland Bridge since the Boxing Day 2015 floods
· Market stalls featuring local businesses, including food and drink
· Jewellery making workshops for all ages
· A new beer specially brewed by the nearby Barge & Barrel to mark the official opening, called ‘Celebration Ale’.
· Performances from Karen Binns Stage School
Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “The event on Sunday is a great opportunity to celebrate Elland getting back on its feet. Although the bridge has been open for vehicles since last month, having the canal and towpath open now too is a significant moment for local people.
“We wanted to put on an event for everyone to enjoy so we could thank them for their patience during the aftermath of the floods. So spread the word and come along – it’s a day not to be missed.”
To ensure a safe and enjoyable event, Elland Bridge, Park Road and Halifax Road (the slip road onto the A629 bypass) will be temporarily closed from 7am until 4pm on Sunday 2 April. Signed diversions will be in place.
Elland Bridge reopened for pedestrians and cyclists in January 2017, and for vehicles last month (Watch the video above). The canal reopened last weekend.
The work to rebuild the bridge has been financed through £5.5 million from the Department for Transport flood recovery fund.
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, added: “Sunday promises to be a great event for the people of Elland. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the formal reopening of the bridge as well as the canal and towpath which provide important links between communities and bring visitors to the area. We hope lots of people come along and rediscover all that Elland, and its canal has to offer.”