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The UK’s first stainless steel bridge, built by Eric Wright Civil Engineering, has opened over the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge in Cumbria.
The 39m bridge reconnects Pooley Bridge with the Ullswater
Valley, after the 18th century stone structure it replaced was destroyed during
Storm Desmond in December 2015.
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, along with 650 square metres of locally sourced
stone. Some 250 people have been involved in the project and the bridge has
taken approximately 10,000 person hours to construct.
Diane Bourne, managing director of Eric Wright Civil Engineering, main contractor for the project, said: “It’s always so sad when we lose a piece of history so it was really important that we built a new, modern bridge which would not only complement the local surroundings but which would ensure the communities either side of the River Eamont remained permanently connected for future generations to come.
“The new bridge is slender and exceptionally strong and is designed to be resilient to any future extreme weather conditions. We’re very proud to deliver the UK’s first stainless steel road bridge and I’d like to thank all of the team for working so hard to complete this landmark project and to the local community for their support and patience.”