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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Landmark reached in Workington bridge project

A symbolic moment was reached in Workington yesterday.

The central beams of the new Northside Bridge were lifted into place, reconnecting two sides of the River Derwent.

The town had waited for the moment to come for more than two years, after the original bridge was swept away in the 2009 floods.

Yesterday morning a huge crane, capable of lifting more than three Statues of Liberty, lowered the first 88-tonne section of steel into place.

The second of three sections was due to go in yesterday afternoon with the final piece of the jigsaw due to be lifted into position today, depending on the weather.

The three new beams will form the main support to carry the road across the river and complete the steel framework of the bridge.

It will now be clad with a mixture of new sandstone and sandstone recovered from the original bridge.

The bridge has been designed by Capita Symonds, which is managing the project on behalf of the county council.

Phil Dilworth, site manager for Birse Civils, the county council’s main contractor, said: “It is a prestigious scheme for us and everyone is on a high with the beams going in.

“It is a key moment and now it looks like a bridge.”

The installation has been dependent on the weather, with recent strong winds, and a delay in getting the crane to the site, meaning that the crossing will not now be open to traffic until September, a month later than previously expected.

Norman Clarkson, county council chairman, said: “It is a wonderful bridge and a marvellous piece of engineering. It starts a new chapter in this area.

“It will be wonderful for the people of Workington when it is complete so they can come back to a normal life.

“Of course it is still touched with sadness, not only from the loss of the bridge but the loss of PC Bill Barker, who is still in our thoughts, along with his family and the ordeal they have had to go through.”

A plaque in memory of PC Barker will be erected as part of the new bridge. He was swept to his death while trying to divert traffic away from the crumbling structure during the floods.

The town’s temporary road bridge upstream will be dismantled once the new bridge is open.

Have your say

Get on with it! We've waited long enough.

Posted by ChrisB on 8 May 2012 at 14:05

What a pair of whingers Yeoman and Delboy are. Well done Delboy for building those bridges. How many of your comrades died doing it? Would you be happy if workers died putting in the beams on the new bridge. No. You would be one of the first to complain. Times change mate and so does safety. I can't believe you can compare the two! Delboy. Lets just be happy about something for once without twisting round and whinging about who, what was to blame on that horrible night. Why not blame the weather forecasters. They got it wrong if I remember?

Posted by Mikey on 6 May 2012 at 00:51

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