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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Welcome to our bridge of sighs

Workington's new Northside Bridge has a majestic sweep about it.

It was quite fitting that it received a royal official opening.

Monday’s ceremony was both a celebration and an act of remembrance for PC Bill Barker, the sole fatality of the dreadful floods of 2009.

The bridge rightly includes a memorial plaque to PC Barker.

We are pleased to note the inclusion of flood victims, along with youngsters from north of the river, at the opening.

This impressive span over the River Derwent completes the town’s flood recovery jigsaw.

It is now almost exactly three years since Workington was ripped apart; families divided, homes destroyed.

There have been critics of the recovery process but, apart from some early days of uncertainty, there has been clear communication about the goals and time scales around this scheme.

First the temporary bridge, and now this wonderful £11.2 million steel and sandstone structure, have reconnected Workington.

Once the contractors got on site, they made great progress.

It has taken 114,500 man hours to complete the largest project in the county’s flood recovery, and all that graft and planning is certainly appreciated.

Those who’ve driven over the bridge this week, and those who’ve viewed it from a distance, are equally impressed.

Welcome to our bridge of sighs.

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