The damaged Elland Bridge which started to collapse following the Boxing Day floods will not be reopened until December 2016.
The bridge was closed in both directions between the A6025 Park Road junction and the Northgate junction causing major disruption to drivers and pedestrians.
The leader of Calderdale Council Councillor Tim Swift said: “It is the view of Calderdale Highways, the Canal and River Trust and their contractors that a new bridge will be required to replace the existing damaged structure.
“We have requested CRT make an immediate start to designing a replacement for Elland Bridge.
“Unfortunately this will be a major project and initial estimates are that a new bridge would not be in operation until at least December 2016.
To add to the problems, the bridge is not the direct responsibility of the Council, and is owned and maintained by the Canal and River Trust.
Coun Swift said the Council has been in regular discussions with them since the collapse occurred – firstly to try to get a temporary footbridge in place, and second to make sure work starts promptly on repairing or replacing the bridge.
A new temporary footbridge has been erected over the canal at Elland Lock directly opposite Park Road Crematorium and provides a pedestrian link from Park Road over the canal into Lowfields Business Park.
However, highways officers from Calderdale Council inspected the site on Saturday and were concerned that the bridge is not wide enough to accommodate a pushchair and a child side by side
“This is particularly important as there maybe a number of children and parents walking to and from local schools,” added Coun Swift.
“We have therefore requested Canal & River Trust (CRT) to return and widen the bridge from it’s present 0.9 metres to 1.5 metres. This will be done first thing Monday morning.
“The footbridge above is a very short-term solution and we have asked CRT and their contractors to look at a longer-term pedestrian footbridge. This will be located parallel to Elland bridge but the exact location is not yet known.
“At the same time, a structure needs to be provided for the various utilities and services that are routed over the bridge (fibre optics, electric, gas, water).
“We are expecting the feasibility work to be completed in the next seven days with an agreed action plan no later than Monday January 11, 2016.”