Hereford & Worcester

Base of new Tenbury Wells bridge installed

Image caption The steel beams, weighing 84 tonnes in total, were lifted across the River Teme earlier

The base of a new river bridge to replace a Grade II listed crossing that collapsed last year has been put into place.

People have faced a 10-mile detour since Eastham Bridge in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, gave way in front of a school bus in May.

Two pairs of steel beams, 33m (108ft) long and weighing 84 tonnes in total, have been lifted across the River Teme.

The bridge is expected to open to traffic in two months.

Image caption The 18th Century structure collapsed when fast-moving water undermined its piers

The 18th Century original collapsed after fast-moving water undermined its piers.

The bus driver managed to reverse off the bridge as its apex crashed into the river below.

Farmer Celia Adams said she was "very very pleased" to come on Saturday and "see that we're getting the bridge put up again".

She said: "We farm either side of this river so we've had tremendous detours for months.

"Now [we've] just started lambing so we've got all the upheaval of all the flock of ewes to be lambed and we're not able obviously to go to the other side unless we do the 10-mile detour."

Image copyright Worcestershire County Council
Image caption The new bridge should open to traffic in two months' time, Worcestershire County Council said

Worcestershire County Council said Saturday's work represented a "major milestone".

Head of highways Jon Fraser said: "People have been very concerned... It's massively important for the local people.

"It's a 10-mile detour with the bridge being down so we're keen to get the bridge connected as quickly as possible."

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