Cumbria County Council considered designing an iconic structure for the replacement Northside road bridge in Workington but ruled it out due to cost, NCE has learnt this week.
The council considered using a bow string arch bridge to replace the original Northside bridge destroyed by devastating floods in November 2009, which killed one person.
But initial cost estimates were more than double the £11.15M required for the traditional three span steel road bridge eventually chosen, according consultant Capita Symonds project manager Mike Briggs.
“[The council] looked at a bow string bridge,” said Briggs who is client’s representative on the scheme. “But the Department for Transport would not have wanted to spend more than was necessary on the project,” added Briggs.
Instead the council decided that Navies Footbridge (see box) should be an iconic structure and Northside Bridge a more traditional road crossing, according to Briggs.
Contractor Birse Civils is constructing the new Northside Bridge and is due to open in late September.
Opened last September the Navvies Bridge spans the River Derwent. Located upstream from the Northside Bridge, Cumbria County Council opted to make the footbridge the town’s iconic crossing and eventually chose a 60m long, twin bow string arch footbridge.
Contractor Morgan Sindall built the new £1.7M pedestrian crossing, which replaced an existing temporary bridge built by the Royal Engineers shortly after the floods devastated the town in November 2009.
Cumbria County Council spent £1.06M on the project, with the Big Lottery Fund delivered through low carbon transport charity Sustrans, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the North West Regional Development Agency contributing the remaining £640,000.