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14 March 2022

Another national award for new Pooley Bridge project

The county council’s Pooley Bridge Replacement Project has been honoured with further recognition, by scooping the Special Award for Community Impact & Engagement at the Civic Trust Awards.  The award reflects the close collaboration between the project team and the local community, ensuring the design went far beyond strict functionality compliance, being conceived as a public space and a beautiful background for their daily activities.

The new award adds to the national recognition achieved in May 2021 when the project was named the best civil engineering project (over £5m) in the North West by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. The project was also named Project of the Year (Civils) and Cumbria Sub-Regional Project of the Year at the North West Regional Construction Association (NWRCA) in November 2021.

Described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the county council’s Infrastructure Recovery Programme, the new Pooley Bridge was completed during a challenging time amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, and was formally re-opened to vehicles and pedestrians in October 2020.

The original bridge, which was built in 1764, was one of more than 450 bridges in the county to be damaged or destroyed by Storm Desmond in December 2015.  The elegant new bridge, measuring 128ft long is the UK’s first stainless steel single span bridge, and was been designed and delivered to complement the stunning surroundings of the Lake District National Park. The bridge was designed as a single span structure to avoid the need for piers in the river, thereby reducing the flood risk and making the structure more flood resilient. 

In total, around 80 tonnes of stainless steel was used, with 2,000 tonnes of concrete laid and 650 square metres of locally sourced stone. Some 250 people were involved in delivering the project, taking approximately 10,000 working hours to construct.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that the new Pooley Bridge has been recognised with yet another well-deserved national awards. The council and our partners worked hard to repair the widespread damage to our highways and structures following Storm Desmond and the new Pooley Bridge was one of the last major projects to be completed.

“This award is particularly special given that it reflects the significant impact the project has had on the local community and economy.  Effective and efficient partnership working between the council, contractors, local businesses, residents and the wider community has been key to the success of the new bridge, which is a vital artery through the Lake District - for locals and for the millions of tourists that visit every year.

“I’d like to thank all of our contractors for creating a fantastic new structure, and the local community in Pooley Bridge who worked with us from the design stages, throughout the construction, right through to the bridge reopening.

“I know they had a lot to put up with - but we now have an iconic new bridge to be very proud of and which will attract many new and returning visitors for many years to come.”

The Civic Trust Awards judges also commented on the project’s success:

“Gracefully floating across the River Eamont, the replacement bridge re-boots the economy and transport links for local people in the popular beauty spot in the Lake District.

“The process of reconstruction has clearly drawn the community together in the joint effort to restore the bridges facility, resulting in great community pride.”

The project team included: Eric Wright Civil Engineering, GHD, Mott MacDonald, WEC Group, R Betts, Sarens, Eden Stonework, PBA Ecology, Waitings, Bill Boley, Knight Architects and Cumbria County Council.

The county council’s Pooley Bridge Replacement Project has been honoured with further recognition, by scooping the Special Award for Community Impact & Engagement at the Civic Trust Awards.