North East & Yorkshire

Multi-million reconstruction of Northside Bridge is taking shape

Main contractor Birse Civils is carrying out an important project to reconstruct the Northside Bridge in Workington, Cumbria. Designed by Capita Symonds, the bridge will carry vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on a similar alignment to that of the previous bridge.

The three-span bridge is being clad in a mixture of new sandstone and sandstone that has been recovered from the original NorthsideBridge, which was destroyed during floods in November 2009. Each of the three sections is 60-metres long and consists of two steel ‘I’-shaped beams to form the main support to carry the road above.

Funding for the project has been supplied via a £11.7 million investment by the Department for Transport (Dft), and the project reached a key milestone in April 2012 when the steel ‘backbone’ of the structure spanned the River Derwent for the first time.

Cumbria County Chairman, Councillor Norman Clarkson, said:

“With the central steel sections in place, the local community can now really see the new structure taking shape. It’s great to see the outline of the bridge and today marks a benchmark moment in the construction project.”

Stuart Macfarlane, Birse Civils, added:

“Installing the final sections of bridge beams is always a key moment in the delivery of a project like this as it emphasises the progress being made. It is even more significant in this case as it will re-establish the connection between the north and south banks of the River Derwent on the alignment of the original Northside Bridge.

“Through our engagement with the local community we are fully aware of the interest in the link and this is a key step towards the successful completion of the bridge for them.”

On Thursday 19th July 2012, pupils from Northside Primary School buried a time capsule containing objects from the school’s past and present alongside the new Northside Bridge. Items included a book about what the children would like to be when they grow up, along with stories written about the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Vice Chairman of Cumbria County Council, Councillor Alan Barry, commented:

“This time capsule is part of the engagement with the local community and we are fully aware of the importance of the bridge to everyone in the area. The reconstruction and reopening of the Northside Bridge remains on schedule and will re-establish the connection between the north and south banks of the River Derwent later this year.”

Phil Dilworth, Birse Civils, added:

“The school is very close to the bridge and our site, so we enjoyed both the interest from the school and the local community with the various milestones such as the main beam installation earlier in the spring. The bridge has a special place in the heart of the community so it was only right that we invited some of its younger members to take part in a little piece of local history.”

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