Workington’s Calva Bridge is expected to be given the all clear, in a dramatic turnaround from earlier fears that it would have to be condemned following Cumbria’s severe floods.
Fears in November last year that the bridge was damaged beyond repair may yet be proven wrong, as Cumbria County Council has told NCE the bridge will probably be repairable.
Examinations of the bridge by structural experts are now complete and final arrangements are ongoing. The most likely option is that the bridge will be repaired, said the council.
“There’s been no final decision yet, but that’s looking more likely,” said a spokesperson for the council.
“It was almost guesswork at the time. Nobody really knew the full extent of the damage.”
Cumbria County Council spokesperson
The turnaround in opinion is due to the fact that detailed assessments were impossible at the time of the flooding. Closer examination once the waters had receded showed that the structural damage was not as serious as originally thought, said the spokesperson.
“It was almost guesswork at the time. It looked like it had slipped a bit. Nobody really knew the full extent of the damage,” he said.
The damage also deteriorated less quickly and less seriously than expected, he said.
The structural assessments were carried out by Balfour Beatty concession company Connect Roads, which manages the stretch of highway on which the bridge lies.
“It’s being done in house. We’re in partnership with Connect Roads,” said the spokesperson. The council will announce its plans regarding the Calva Bridge in the coming weeks.
At the time of the floods, a Connect Roads spokesperson said the bridge’s structural integrity had definitely been compromised. “One of the piers of the masonry arch is sinking,” he said at the time. “It’s moved so significantly that it’s caused structural cracking under the arch.”
The Calva Bridge is a Grade II listed structure.