Saturday, 13 February 2016

Opening date set for Workington's new Northside Bridge

Workington's new £11.2 million Northside Bridge is due to open on October 22 – more than five months later than originally planned.

northside bridge

The opening date, almost three years on from the floods that destroyed the old Northside crossing, has been announced by Cumbria County Council.

Contractor Birse Civils started work to build the 500ft-long road bridge last August.

The original aim was to open it in April or May.

In January, the opening date was put back to August because of difficulties encountered during piling works.

The end beams for the bridge were put in place in February and March.

By May, when the central beams were added, the predicted opening date had been put back to September.

In an email to update colleagues on the work, Councillor Tony Markley, the county’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We have always stressed that the delivery date can be affected by factors beyond anyone’s control.

“It is only towards the end of a project of this nature that you can say with any real confidence when it will be completed.

“Up until this point, no firm opening date has been confirmed other than broad aspirational targets.

“The date that both Cumbria County Council and Birse Civils envisage opening the bridge on is Monday, October 22.”

He said the original predicted opening day may have been unrealistic, as it had not allowed for unforeseen piling issues, severe weather and delays in availability of cranes.

He added: “With all these things in mind it was perhaps a bit adventurous.”

Because of the need to bring in new traffic rules and co-ordinate with the almost simultaneous closure of the temporary road bridge, Coun Markley said, the date had to be set well in advance to ensure it was achievable.

“The temporary bridge is doing a perfectly good job,” he added.

“Our traffic monitoring shows there are no issues with traffic flows around the town.

“The opening will be a benchmark moment for the town and will effectively complete the flood recovery programme for Workington within the three years that we originally said would be needed.”

Work is under way to link the existing roads to the new River Derwent crossing.

Have your say

According to records held by Cumbria County Council the original New Bridge took over ten years to get funding , took five years in the planning stage and took around four years to build. The foundations was washed away at least once so the replacement bridge is being installed in record time when compared with the original. There are so many new regulations to meet nowadays and to ensure the planning meets them thousands of Pounds Sterling are used to ensure the bridge is legal. The EC dictates the rules nowadays regarding design and safety. Regarding the footbridge at Cammerton, until 1965 it was owned by British Railways when it was taken over by the County Council. Cumbria County Council does not have pots of money to replace little used footbridges and likewise the Workington Harbour bridge will never get replaced for a couple of decades, if at all. The lonning from Barepot to salmon Hall was washed away and this too will never be reinstated for the lack of funding. besides it would mean the landowner of an adjoining field would loose some of his land and this is looked upon by many as unacceptable.

Posted by Leslie Ward on 6 October 2012 at 08:09

here we go another civil engineer not!!!! "James O" if you are a project engineer than fine you will have some knowledge of such projects and how much they cost if not then its just somebody else spouting off again!!!

Posted by albert on 21 August 2012 at 13:35

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