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Historic Dorset bridge reopens after collapse

dorset

An historic Elizabethan bridge in Dorset has been reopened to walkers and cyclists after partially collapsing earlier this year.

Wool Bridge is a Grade II listed structure which crosses the River Frome and features in Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

Cracks began to appear on the bridge earlier this year before the wall slumped and was eventually washed away.

A dry-dam, which was constructed during repair work, was removed due to the stonework now being above the waterline of the river, according to Dorset County Council officials.

The temporary scaffold footbridge has also been removed, enabling all six arches of the bridge to be free for the river to flow.

Work is now also underway to put original courses of bridge stonework back in place.

A scaffold platform has also been installed to enable the original courses of bridge stonework back in place. Moreover, part of the bridge remains closed for working space.

The original lime mortar of the bridge has been chemically and microscopically analysed to ensure the bridge’s character is retained, according to Dorset County Council.

The new stone has been supplied, cut and tooled by W J Haysom & Son and Lander’s Quarries.

A council spokesman said: “This ensures that all six arches of the bridge are free for the river to flow through as this time of year there is a greater risk of increased water flow and potential flooding.”

Repairs are set to conclude by the end of November, with the bridge resurfaced as the final part of the work. 

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