Dearne Valley bypass testing finally complete after various vandalism incidents
A section of the A635 near Goldthorpe was closed in July after a car was deliberately set alight in an underpass, causing significant structural damage to the roof.
Barnsley Council said further vandalism had hampered its efforts to reopen the road, with the continued closure “essential” to ensure public safety.
“The risk is that the underpass could collapse with the weight of traffic due to the potential of damage which cannot be seen within the structure,” a spokesperson said.
“Comprehensive inspections and testing using specialist equipment were needed to assess the structural integrity of the bridge. Testing using specialist equipment could not begin until the site was secured
“Unfortunately, continued vandalism has held up this process several times.”
BMBC’s highways team secured both the Phoenix Park and Lockwood Road entrances several times but the security fencing was repeatedly attacked by vandals.
“Additional security measures were put in place each time to secure the site, including extra reinforcing and bracing, along with welding extra metal plates to the fencing,” the spokesperson said.
“We’ve been working closely with our Safer Neighbourhood and Policing Team to increase patrols in this area to prevent even more delays.”
Testing was finally able to get under way this week – and the council is now waiting for a report which will outline options for reopening the bypass.
Cllr James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, said: “We understand the closure of the bypass is frustrating to all, however, these delays are a result of criminal activity.
“This ongoing vandalism has caused unplanned delays by preventing us from securing the site to make it safe for residents, our Highways Team, and contractors to carry out these inspections.
“We’d greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we work towards repairing the underpass and reopening the bypass as soon as possible. The safety and well-being of road and underpass users are our utmost priority.
“I encourage people to visit barnsley.gov.uk/GoldthorpeBypassClosure for regular progress updates.”