Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 10:39 UK

Bridge work on course after flood

Road closure in Ludlow
The bridge had been closed since last summer's floods

A bridge which will replace one that collapsed into a river in Shropshire exactly a year ago is on course to open in September.

Burway Bridge in Ludlow fell into the River Corve during floods last June, severing a gas main as it did so.

It is hoped the bridge will be used by one-way traffic in early September and be fully open by the end of October, the county council said.

A temporary bridge closed in April so work could start on building a new one.

Higher capacity

The county council said the new bridge has been designed to take a much higher capacity of water, with the original one having an 8m (8.75yds) span and the replacement being 19m (20.78yds).

Its assistant director for transport and highways, Phil Crossland, said it was not possible to erect the new bridge earlier.

He said: "We had to have full consultation with the Environment Agency. The design process takes a while.

The collapsed bridge in Ludlow
A gas main was severed when the original bridge collapsed

"By the time that had been completed, we'd have been into the winter.

"We obviously can't work on a river in the winter period. The Environment Agency won't allow that, because of the risk of flooding."

Mr Crossland said it was unfortunate that one of the main ways into Ludlow had been closed over the summer, but diversions were "easy to follow".

A day after the bridge collapsed, part of an elderly couple's home also fell into the river.

Two days earlier Gordon and Doreen Pearce had just 45 minutes to collect belongings and get out before floodwaters swamped their home of 40 years.

Bridge closing for building work
20 Apr 08 |  Shropshire
Disruption fear for flood repairs
19 Mar 08 |  Shropshire
Collapsed bridge replaced in 2008
11 Jul 07 |  Shropshire
Ordeal of collapsed house couple
28 Jun 07 |  Shropshire


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