Efforts to reconnect the floodstruck Cumbrian town of Workington made headway this week as site investigations got underway for a new temporary road bridge.
Allied Exploration and Geotechnics began drilling boreholes, road cores and digging trial pits at a site about 200m upstream of the destroyed Northside Bridge in Workington.
The contract is expected to last two to three weeks with the first half spent on the south bank of the River Derwent before the investigations move to the north side.
The results of the work will feed into the design of the foundations for the bridge and connecting roads.
“Supporting communities and restoring our transport infrastructure following the November floods remain our priority.”
This follows an announcement by Cumbria County Council last week that it would introduce a fast track procurement process for the bridge. This means that construction could begin as early as next month and the structure up and running by the end of May.
“Suggestions that the county council is dragging its heels over restoring bridges across the River Derwent could not be further from the truth,” said council deputy leader Stewart Young
“We have been absolutely clear that supporting communities and restoring our transport infrastructure following the November floods remain priority.”
The council has shortlisted three firms out of 12 who submitted expressions of interest, and has now invited them to tender for the contract to build the bridge.
The council has met with the shortlisted firms and negotiations on their returned detailed tenders were due to begin as NCE went to press. However, the council is not revealing the three names for legal and financial reasons.
Final bids will need to be returned by 25 January, with final evaluation due to take place the next day. The council expects to select its preferred bidder on 27 January.