The UK’s first stainless steel road bridge will be officially opened today, over the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge.
At 128ft, the landmark structure reconnects the Ullswater Valley with a permanent new bridge to replace the 18th century stone structure destroyed during Storm Desmond in December, 2015.
Tony Markley, vice-chairman of Cumbria County Council, is due to cut the ribbon on the new single span bridge which will be open to traffic and pedestrians.
Keith Little, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I’d like to thank all our contractors for creating a fantastic new structure, and I’d also like to thank the local community in Pooley Bridge who have worked with us through the design stages and throughout the construction.
“I know they’ve had a lot to put up with, but we now have an iconic new bridge to be very proud of and which will attract many visitors in the years to come.”
Miles MacInnes, chairman of Barton and Pooley Bridge Parish Council, said: “Our community was split in two when we lost our 251-year-old bridge to Storm Desmond; it was like losing a well-loved relative.
“It’s been a long five years and local businesses have suffered but we’re really thrilled now.
“It looks wonderful and we are sure this spectacular modern structure will prove a popular tourist attraction in its own right.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors back to this beautiful part of Lakeland.”
A larger scale event had originally been planned to mark the official opening of the new bridge, however this has been postponed because of the need to protect people’s health by following COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing guidance.