A RIVERSIDE route popular with walkers and cyclists has reopened after months of works and lengthy delays.

Originally Lendal Arch under Lendal Bridge was to be closed for three months, but, as previously reported by The Press, after six months it remained closed.

Now the Environment Agency says it has reopened after work to install improved flood gates has been completed, reducing the risk of flooding to 39 homes and businesses between Scarborough Bridge and Ouse Bridge.

People using the popular riverside route cheered at the news.  

Signs proclaiming the route closed are still in place on the approaches, though the workers' compound on the city side of the Arch has gone. 

The £2.5 million works are part of the York Flood Alleviation Scheme, where £45 million is being invested in the city to better protect 2,000 homes from flooding.

As part of the works, the Environment Agency has:

• raised the flood wall and replaced all of the gates on North Street, and installed demountable flood barriers at two entrances to Memorial Gardens

• built a new flood wall and embankment between War Memorial Gardens and Leeman Road

• widened the flood gate at the upper end of North Street Gardens to improve access to the riverside

• waterproofed the car park under the Park Inn and our Community Flood Hub building.

The final stage of the scheme has involved installing taller and stronger flood gates under Lendal Bridge. The team has flood tested the new flood gate, using 3,500 litres of water.

Mark Fuller, project lead at the Environment Agency, said: “This important work under one of York’s main bridges has been complex but essential to ensure we upgrade the flood gates to better protect homes and businesses, making them more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

“Installing a gate in this location has been challenging and has taken us longer than expected but the new gate is taller so it can protect against a higher flood level as well as achieving a greatly reduced leakage rate.

“We’re pleased we can reopen this route for pedestrians, cyclists and local businesses and we want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during construction.”

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change said:

“The Environment Agency’s work in York will protect more than 2,000 homes and businesses, particularly in local communities which unfortunately have had to regularly endure worsening flooding events. City of York Council is working in partnership with the Environment Agency to help them deliver this ambitious and necessary work to ensure that residents and businesses in York are better protected in the future.”