Months of disturbance “worth it for new bridge”

Date: Friday 26th April 2019
An artist’s impression of the new bridge at Pooley Bridge
An artist’s impression of the new bridge at Pooley Bridge

PLANS for a new 128ft-long bridge at Ullswater are to go before the Lake District National Park Authority next week.

It is a permanent replacement for the 251-year-old structure over the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge which was destroyed by Storm Desmond in December, 2015.

Eric Wright Civil Engineering Ltd won the county council contract for the new bridge and is seeking planning permission. The application will be considered by the authority’s development control committee on Wednesday, and it is being recommended for approval.

A report penned by area planner Ben Long warns of “inconvenience and disturbance” as the closure of a section of the A592 and the B5230 for months will be required.

A temporary footbridge will provide pedestrian access only which spells long diversions for motorists, as seen in the aftermath of the loss of the bridge.

Parts of residents’ land and gardens will be needed for it to be slotted into place. That carries “adverse implications for privacy and amenity,” states Mr Long’s report. However, temporary screens will be put up to help mitigate the loss of privacy.

Temporary car parking will also be provided on each side of the river due to the loss of Dunmallard car park. It is planned to close the road and remove the existing Bailey bridge in September, with sections of the new bridge delivered that month. The steel skeleton is expected to go in place in November with various works then taking place until April or May, 2020.

Mr Long states: “This is an unavoidable implication of a substantial infrastructure project such as this. The adverse effect would be small and temporary and outweighed by the public benefits of restoring a permanent bridge over the river in this location.”

The new single-span bridge will allow access over the River Eamont for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. It is described as a high quality, graceful structure, with an elegant contemporary design.

The applicant said: “The new design needed to be resilient to flooding, safe for users, and quick to construct — none of which could be practically achieved by rebuilding what had been there before or a similar three-span arch option.”