Ribblehead Viaduct Repairs To Be Extended

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Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E. info@burflex.co.uk

Ribblehead Viaduct Repairs To Be Extended

Ribblehead Viaduct Repairs To Be Extended

The £2.1 million restoration project on Ribblehead Viaduct, one of Yorkshire’s most recognisable landmarks, looks set to be extended after engineers wanted that the works had revealed a danger that large stone blocks could come loose, and potentially fall on people visiting the landmark.

According to The Northern Echo, Network Rail has applied to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to alter its restoration of the Grade II-listed Ribblehead Viaduct, which was due to have been completed in February.

Network Rail was granted permission in 2020 to conduct the major repairs, which included re-pointing eroded mortar joints and replace broken stones on all 24 arches which span to the 104ft-high structure. The work is seen as essential for the continued operation of the Settle to Carlisle railway route and ‘star attraction’ which draws crowds of visitors to the area.

Work on the fine example of Victorian engineering, which saw over 100 workers die during its original construction, will have to adhere to strict rules to preserve the viaduct, such as the use of a precisely defined mortar mix, and the use of hand tools only.

However, documents submitted to the park authority have revealed that during the erection of the massive scaffolding system on the viaduct, a close inspection identified several vertically cracked stone blocks, which potentially could fall off, unless action was taken.

The documents state: “The approach to stitch the cracked blocks seeks to prevent further deterioration of the fabric and subsequent loss and allows for original historic masonry to be retained in situ conserving both the special architectural and historic interests of the viaduct.”

It adds that the additional work would remain consistent with the sympathetic restoration of the viaduct, and is the minimum necessary work needed to conserve the structure and to ensure the safe use of the Settle and Carlisle line as well as safety of the public visiting Ribblehead.

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