Police are attempting to trace the driver of a truck which struck and badly damaged a historic stone bridge between Ketton and Collyweston.
The bridge, which spans the River Welland on the Rutland / Northamptonshire border, was hit shortly before 10.30pm on Saturday.
A large hole has been left in the bridge, which is believed to be around 400 years old.
Leicestershire Police said the driver did not stop at the scene and did not report the collision. Enquiries are ongoing to trace the vehicle and driver.
Rutland County Council said a structural survey will be carried out as soon as possible. A spokesman said: “The parapet on the listed bridge between Ketton/Geeston and Collyweston was severely damaged following a road traffic collision over the weekend.
“The road has been closed to all traffic, vehicular and pedestrian, and will remain closed for some time, while repairs are carried out.
“Leicestershire Structures will be undertaking a survey as soon as possible. Northamptonshire Highways have been informed and agreed to the diversions route, via Collyweston, A47, Wireless Hill and the A6121.”
Chairman of Ketton Parish Council Tim Charge said he hoped police track down the driver. He said: “There was a piece of the vehicle’s numberplate left at the scene, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for police to find the driver.
“I presume he was travelling too fast down the hill and couldn’t slow down quick enough. The road closure is adding time onto people’s journeys when travelling in the direction of Peterborough. We have seen some people ignoring the closure signs and still driving across which is something we are trying to stop for safety reasons.”
Collyweston parish clerk Jo Hemingway said she hoped the bridge could be restored to its former glory. She said: “I found out about it when somebody showed me a picture and the damage looks significant.
“Hopefully it will be reinstated to what it was. The closure is causing a bit of disruption – some people like to go that way into Stamford, or to the post office in Ketton, but it looks like it will be closed for quite a while.”
The Environment Agency has also been informed about the collision, as there is debris in the river channel, but this is unlikely to cause any flooding issues.
Anyone with information regarding the collision should call Leicestershire Police on 101.