THIEVES have stolen a JCB digger worth £16,000 from under the Whitechapel Road bridge in Cleckheaton.
The two-tonne mini-digger was stolen between Sunday and Tuesday while it was parked near the M62.
The JCB 8030 was being used by contractors May Gurney and had been parked under the bridge for a few days awaiting collection.
The theft is unlikely to slow the progress of the bridgework, but represents a financial blow for the firm.
The yellow digger was parked out of view from the security team which oversees the compound on the road between Cleckheaton and Scholes.
Ian Davidson, works manager from May Gurney, said: “A theft such as this is not unknown to happen. It was a hired vehicle that had been parked and was awaiting collection.
“The theft will not affect work on the bridge but it is a huge loss in terms of monetary value to us.”
Police believe that the digger may have been stolen on Sunday night and had been parked there for three or four days.
PC Chris Birkenshaw from the Spen Valley Neighbourhood Police Team has urged any witnesses to come forward.
He said: “This is a big piece of machinery and someone must have seen something.
“We hope that anyone with information can contact me at the NPT immediately.”
l Anyone with information should contact PC Birkenshaw at the Spen NPT on 01924 295357.