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13 December 2017

Historic bridge reopens following flood repair

Historic Brougham Old Bridge near Penrith was officially re-opened this morning (13 December) by Cumbria County Council Chairman John Bell following completion of major works to repair damage caused by Storm Desmond in 2015.

The English Heritage listed bridge was originally built in 1811 and provides picturesque access to nearby Brougham Castle, but flood damage to the bridge was so extensive that there were early fears that it could suffer total collapse.

Meticulous engineering and planning was required to deliver the first stage of stabilisation works during 2016 to secure the main structure of the bridge and ensure that it was safe for further works. Stabilisation work included pouring 110 cubic metres of concrete into the main scour hole and rebuilding all the bridge parapets.

The final phase of repairs began in August this year and included reconstruction of the bridge’s main arch and cutwaters and creation of new, resilient, modern substructure. The repairs used a mix of salvaged material from the original bridge where possible, as well as new sandstone from nearby Bowscar Quarry.

The repairs were designed by Curtins engineers and delivered by local contractors Metcalfe’s of Penrith. All stonemasonry was carried out by local firm Cumbrian Stone. Works costs approximately £750,000 and were delivered on schedule.

Nick Raymond, Head of Infrastructure Recovery & Major Programmes at Cumbria County Council, said:

“Brougham has showcased fantastic local skill and workmanship and it’s a testament to the strength of the local Cumbrian supply chain that we could deliver this restoration project to such a high standard. The work here, and at other historic bridges in the county, has allowed our contractors to develop experience and hone skills that are giving their businesses a real advantage. We’re pleased that through our Infrastructure Recovery Programme we have been able to turn the damage caused by the floods into a positive opportunity to grow our local civil engineering sector.”

Councillor Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

“This has been a unique project. It’s very rare that this kind of work would be carried out on such a historic structure. We’ve been at pains to ensure that the work that’s been done is in keeping with the old bridge, but also to take the opportunity to improve and strengthen the bridge. I think the work done here is first rate and hopefully it will last another 200 years. I hope people will come out, have a look and enjoy their new old bridge.”

A video showing the scale and nature of the works is available to view here.

 

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Historic Brougham Old Bridge near Penrith was officially re-opened this morning (13 December) by Cumbria County Council Chairman John Bell following completion of major works to repair damage caused by Storm Desmond in 2015.