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Reconstruction work planned to restore flood-hit Tarr Steps bridge on Exmoor

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

Walkers on what remains of Tarr Steps

Walkers on what remains of Tarr Steps

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Engineers are working on another painstaking reconstruction project to restore the iconic Tarr Steps bridge on Exmoor.

The 1,000-year-old clapper bridge was destroyed in December after a period of heavy rain and flooding.

More than three quarters of the 50-metre long bridge, which crosses the Barle between Withypool and Dulverton, was washed away in the rain-swollen river which reached depths 10 feet deeper than normal levels.

The twin steel hawsers designed to protect the bridge were snapped by massive trees being swept downstream in the flood.

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All the massive slabs incorporated into the 17-span bridge have been numbered so that they can be retrieved and put back in exactly the right place.

At the beginning of the year, engineering teams from Somerset County Council started work to repair the ancient clapper bridge.

A spokesman for the authority – which regards the bridge as part of the county highway network – said contractors had been engaged to help repair the ancient monument and that special preparations were being made to bring in heavy machinery to retrieve the bridge’s massive stone slabs.

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