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20 December 2017

Memorial Bridge reopens following repairs

Carlisle’s Memorial Footbridge in Rickerby Park was reopened today by Cumbria County Council Chairman, Cllr John Bell and local members Cllr Liz Mallinson and Cllr Rob Betton, following completion of repairs.

The bridge was closed in June as a precautionary measure following a routine inspection. Since then a range of works have been carried out by local contractors Metcalfe Civil Engineering.

Working closely with the designers (Arup’s) and the steelwork sub-contractor (Taziker Industrial) they developed a design solution to replace elements of the existing structure and provide additional strengthening for future resilience. This has included improving the bridge’s ability to withstand high winds and increasing its overall load bearing capacity.

In addition, the bearings at each of the bridges corners have been replaced, a job that required each corner to be temporarily lifted to allow old fittings to be removed and new ones installed. Finally the bridge was cleaned and given a fresh coat of paint to prevent water damage and corrosion in the future.

Completion of the works was hindered by severe weather experienced over recent weeks. High water levels during November prevented access to the scaffolding underneath the bridge, then wet weather and freezing temperatures meant the painting required to protect the main sections of steelwork took longer than planned.

Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Fleet, said:

“This is an important local bridge with real historical significance for the city. There are always challenges when dealing with a structure of this age and our contractors and council officers have done a fantastic job on these repairs. The bridge has been part of the city for almost 100 years; these repairs will ensure it continues for another hundred. I’d like to thank the public for their patience while we did this work.”

Cllr Liz Mallinson, local member for Stanwix Urban and vice chair of the county council, said:

"I'm delighted to see this important bridge re-opened - it is a vital link between the north and south of the city, used by pedestrians, dog walkers, cyclists and many others.  It's part of the Hadrian's Wall walking and cycling routes and has an important history, having been erected in memory of local people who served and died during World War 1. I'd like to thank the teams involved in completing the repairs, and the local community for their patience while these essential works were completed."

Cllr Rob Betton, local member for Botcherby, said:

"This is brilliant news for people on both sides of the river - this bridge is such an important part of the city for so many people, providing a crossing for walkers, dogs, cyclists, football fans, students, and hundreds of pedestrians every day.  The nearest alternative crossing at Eden Bridge is a mile away, so Memorial Bridge has been a big miss for a lot of people whilst it's been closed - I'm delighted that it's open before Christmas and grateful to all the teams for their hard work and commitment."

Some additional work to the riverbank and further painting will be required in summer 2018. The bridge will not need to be closed to carry out these works.

(L-R) Matthew Pearson (CCC project manager), Cllr Rob Betton, Chairman Cllr John Bell, Cllr Liz Mallinson

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Carlisle�s Memorial Footbridge in Rickerby Park was reopened today by Cumbria County Council Chairman, Cllr John Bell and local members Cllr Liz Mallinson and Cllr Rob Betton, following completion of repairs.