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Workington's new bridge almost complete

The construction of a temporary bridge in flood-ravaged Workington in Cumbria is close to completion and set to be open for use on Monday.

This morning sees a team of Royal Engineers assembling the final two pairs of 17 3m long prefabricated steel truss panels which are being braced together to form the temporary bridge. Later today, the main bridge section will be pushed across the river, guided at the front by 12 lightweight truss sections acting as a “nose”.

“They are putting the last two bays on now and they look to land the nose on the far bank early this afternoon,” said Royal Engineer senior engineer Major Grant Kerr.

“They are putting the last two bays on now and they look to land the nose on the far bank early this afternoon.”

Major Grant Kerr, Royal Engineers

Once this is done, said Kerr, all that remains is to secure the bridge on abutments and install street furniture such as ramps to optimise the structure for use by pedestrians. The Mabey Bridge Compact 200 panel bridge used on this project is typically used as a military logistics support bridge rather than for civilians.

Kerr said the construction is happening on schedule to be open for use by Workington residents on Monday morning.

The town was left disconnected after November’s severe floods caused devastating damage to the Calva Bridge, a vital connection across the River Derwent

Readers' comments (2)

  • Well done the RoyalEngineers, using our army to sort out our problems at home, instead of trying to sort out the rest of the world in far flung places, charity begins at home.

    During the late fifties early sixties, at The Acorn Bank Opencast Coal site in Northumberland there were two Bailey Bridges, as once they were called, errected across the river Blyth and a main road, for site access to carry coal to a coal washing plant at Bebside, near Bedlington, The vehicles were B2 Euclid trucks, equipped with a fifth wheel towing a 50 ton capacity haul unit, with an all up weight in excess of 70 Tons.
    Also in 1947 the bridge, on the A697 Coldstream to Newcastle road, spanning the river Breamish at Powburn, Northumberalnd, was washed away in the floods after the severe winter, and in this case a Bailey Bridge was errected and remained in operation for many years, I remember travelling over this bridge well into the 1960's.
    Why not replace these damaged bridges in Cumbria with Bailey Bridges, or is it Health and Safety stopping progress.
    A temporary solution which could last for many years until the original bridges are replaced at leisure.
    A temporary bridge was errected over the River Irwell, Manchester during the construction of a section of the M62 to give access for Terex TS 14 scrapers moving earth.

    Bailey Bridges can be constructed to carry very heavilly loaded vehicles, with a high factor of safety.
    All is possible with a little encouragement and determination.
    Go for it!

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  • Bill Addington

    Hundreds of Bailey Bridges have been deployed across Malaysia as replacement river crossings after flooding has destroyed permanent structures in far flung and often inaccessible areas of the country. It is nice to see the same strategy being adopted back in the UK where the famous bridges first originated all those years ago.

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