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New bridge reunites Cumbrian town

A Cumbrian community is celebrating after a temporary road bridge was opened to reunite them.

The Northside bridge was destroyed in the floods which caused severe damage in Workington last November. Since then motorists have been forced to take an 18-mile detour to travel across the River Derwent.

Jansen Bridge

The two-lane temporary crossing, known as Jansen Bridge, cost £4.6M and was completed by contractor Morgan Est five weeks earlier than planned.

An HGV from haulage company Eddie Stobart was the first to cross the bridge and the company paid a donation to Workington Rotary Club for the privilege.

Cumbria County Council’s chief executive, Jill Stannard, said: “To have condensed the procurement and construction of a bridge like this into such a short space of time is a tremendous achievement.

“To have condensed the procurement and construction of a bridge like this into such a short space of time is a tremendous achievement.”

Cumbria County Council’s chief executive Jill Stannard

“We’ve worked with a range of different partners to get this bridge open as soon as humanly possible - and it has sometimes involved superhuman efforts and round-the-clock working.”

Pc Bill Barker, 44, who was directing motorists off the crossing, died when the bridge collapsed. A tree planted near the bridge was later blessed by the rector of Workington, Canon Bryan Rowe.

The plaque by the tree reads: “In loving memory of Pc Bill Barker, who gave his life in the line of duty November 2009.”

Cumbria County Council said the replacement crossing would remain in place until a permanent bridge can be built.

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