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28 May 2021

New £7m Pooley Bridge recognised by national Civil Engineering Award success

The new Pooley Bridge, delivered by Cumbria County Council’s Infrastructure Recovery Project Team, and built by Eric Wright Civil Engineering, has recently been named as the best civil engineering project (over £5m) in the North West by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.

Pooley Bridge also won the Bridges Construction Award for Projects above £5m from the national Bridge Design and Engineering organisation earlier this week at a virtual presentation ceremony.

Described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the 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 has 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 has been used, 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 these well-deserved national awards. The council and our partners have 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.



“I’d like to thank all our contractors for creating a fantastic new structure, and I’d also like to thank the local community in Pooley Bridge who worked with us through the design stages and throughout the construction. The awards are testament to the skills and innovation of all involved, and the iconic new bridge is something we can all be very proud of and will attract many more visitors in the years to come.”

Commenting on the CECA win Diane Bourne, managing director of Eric Wright Civil Engineering said:

“We are are so proud that Pooley Bridge has been recognised by the judges to win this award from our peers in the civil Engineering Contractors Association. . Replacing a much-loved historic structure is never without its challenges and we consulted closely with the local community every step of the way to ensure what we delivered would be a fitting replacement for generations to come. The village embraced the project and we are so grateful for all of their support. The new bridge connects people once again and is future-proofed for flood resilience which will bring peace of mind to the local community.”

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.

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The new Pooley Bridge, delivered by Cumbria County Council’s Infrastructure Recovery Project Team, and built by Eric Wright Civil Engineering, has recently been named as the best civil engineering project (over £5m) in the North West by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.