Environment Agency to Remove Gravel and Silt from Aire and Worth

The Environment Agency this week started an £800,000 program of work on the rivers Aire and Worth to remove gravel and silt deposited by the winter floods.

The deposits, known as shoals, built up in the rivers during the flooding as large volumes of water picked up debris and distributed it along the river system.

The shoals increase the likelihood of flooding as they reduce the width of the river channel and create blockages under bridges.

Two clearing teams are expected to take around four weeks to clear the debris at 10 sites along the rivers, including sites in Kirkstall, Keighley, Cottingley, Bingley, Silsden and Earby.

In Bingley, where debris has accumulated under two of the five arches of Ireland Bridge, work is due to start on 30 August.

Environment Agency contractors will first of all create an access ramp from the Brown Cow car park and then they will work in the water, using heavy equipment to remove the shoals that are currently restricting flow through the arches of Ireland Bridge.

They will also clear the entrance to the fish pass which has become silted up, allowing fish to once again bypass the upstream weir.

Most of the material will be taken off site, however some of the very large rocks will be reused to help protect the base of the river bank at the Brown Cow.

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