Vital flood defences in Calderdale village reaches major milestone

New pedestrian bridge and flood defences at Mytholmroyd. From the left, VBA senior project manager Chris Blenkam, Russell Edwards from People for Places, Environment Agency project manager Ian Waller, Mark Tupman, Environment Agency senior flood advisor, and concillor Barry Collins, cabinet member for regeneration and economic strategy.
New pedestrian bridge and flood defences at Mytholmroyd. From the left, VBA senior project manager Chris Blenkam, Russell Edwards from People for Places, Environment Agency project manager Ian Waller, Mark Tupman, Environment Agency senior flood advisor, and concillor Barry Collins, cabinet member for regeneration and economic strategy.

Stronger flood walls and a new footbridge have been installed as part of the initial phase of construction of flood defences in a Calderdale village.

The phase of work is along Cragg Brook in Mytholmroyd with the new steel bridge for pedestrians upstream of the railway viaduct between the back of the Shoulder of Mutton pub and Streamside Fold.

Mark Tupman, senior flood adviser for the Environment Agency, said: “In designing the works we have worked closely with Historic England and Calderdale Council to ensure our work considers the Conservation Area status of the surrounding environment.

“While the flood walls are constructed using new natural stone, they will become weathered and blend in with the existing stone over several months. It is extremely difficult to find an exact match to the original stone used along parts of Cragg Brook as that stone has had many years of exposure to the elements. The quarry where it was first sourced is also no longer in existence. There are a range of stone and brick types on buildings surrounding the defences and the works will provide cohesion to the existing environment.”

The old footbridge had to be removed to allow the new flood walls to be installed.

As part of the works new footpaths have been constructed in the area and an access ramp and safety handrails fitted to improve access to the bridge.

Work to improve drainage, landscaping and lighting has also been carried out around the car park of the pub.

New flood walls are now in place in this area with glass panels installed at the back of the pub to provide views of Cragg Brook, also known as Elphin Brook.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Councillor Barry Collins said: "We are pleased to see things beginning to take shape with the completion of this first major milestone as part of the Mytholmroyd flood alleviation scheme.

“As well as reducing flood risk for local homes and businesses this important piece of work provides improved access and should gradually blend well with the local setting”.

The Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme, which will cost in the region of £30m, has been developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with Calderdale Council and is expected to be completed by Winter 2019 / 20.

Design and construction of the scheme is being carried out by main contractor VBA, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business.

Vital works to be completed as part of the scheme include construction of new, raised and improved flood walls, relocation of Caldene Bridge, widening of the river channel at key locations and flood proofing of the buildings next to the river.