New Pooley Bridge structure set for big lift in early May

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Cumbria County Council is excited to announce that its multi-million pound project to build a new road bridge at Pooley Bridge is set to reach a key milestone when the main structure is lifted into position in early May 2020.

Preparations are progressing well for this hugely significant stage in the project with the delivery of a large 1,200 tonne crane expected soon and the much-anticipated lift taking place.

Cumbria County Council, together with its principal contractor Eric Wright Civil Engineering in partnership with the many contractors, are working to deliver this essential piece of infrastructure. We have been able to ensure that the programmed lift date remains on schedule whilst ensuring the public and workforce remain protected throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Unfortunately the impact of social distancing measures required to stop the spread of Covid-19, means that our plans to share this key milestone with the community need to change. The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and contractor workforce are of paramount importance to us. As a result we will be unable to provide any viewing areas for people to see the bridge lift take place.

All public locations where the lift could be viewed will be closed and marshals will be on site to prevent large gatherings in order to maintain social distancing and protect both our workforce and the public.

However, the county council recognises and indeed shares the excitement of the local community that the bridge structure will soon be lifted into position over the River Eamont.

We are therefore looking to provide live streams online and time lapse images of the lift, as well as filming the action as it happens and releasing regular updates through the Cumbria County Council website and social media platforms as well as other local media outlets.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m really thrilled that we’re close to lifting the new bridge structure into place at Pooley Bridge. This will certainly be a big red letter day for the project. The project restarted last week after clear guidance from the government meant some schemes like the new Pooley Bridge could safely resume with necessary Covid-19 measures put in place to protect the workforce and community. At the moment we must all stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives, but it’s wonderful to know this important piece of infrastructure will soon be in place and, when the social distancing measures can be relaxed, people can again visit one of the most beautiful parts of our county.”

Commenting on behalf of Eric Wright Civil Engineering, managing director Diane Bourne said: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, we are delighted that the bridge lift can go ahead as planned. To ensure stakeholders and residents of Pooley Bridge are able to appreciate and comprehend the complexity of this major milestone, we have commissioned a drone photographer to capture the lift from start to finish. To ensure the welfare and safety of our staff and contractors, we would ask that everyone adheres to the restrictions put in place by Cumbria County Council.”

Once the bridge is lifted in place the contractor will continue to complete the finishing works in order to be able to open the bridge at the earliest possible opportunity whilst ensuring that we are able to operate in line with public health guidelines.

The new Pooley Bridge will be the first stainless steel road bridge of its kind in the country. It was scheduled to be completed and the bridge opened in June 2020. However the temporary suspension of works means the timescale for completion of the Pooley Bridge project is subject to change.

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: New Pooley Bridge structure set for big lift in early May
New Pooley Bridge structure set for big lift in early May
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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