The new Pooley Bridge has been named the best civil engineering project in the country.
The bridge, built by Eric Wright Civil Engineering of Preston, was announced as the winner of the Constructing Excellence UK awards in London on Friday night.
Opened in 2020, it replaced the original Grade II listed structure which spanned the River Eamont for 250 years, before being destroyed in Storm Desmond in 2015.
The damage left drivers facing a 16-mile detour to navigate and separated the village of Pooley Bridge from its main source of visitors and farmers from their pastures.
The bridge has aroused wide national and international interest and has already won numerous awards in the civil engineering, construction and architectural sectors.
Commissioned by Cumbria County Council, this is the UK’s first stainless steel road bridge, built with the unanimous support of the community. Its innovative stainless steel structure is built to cope with any future flooding and is designed to respect the UNESCO and SSSI World Heritage status of the Lake District.
Designed following an extensive community consultation program, the 40m single-span bridge respects the area’s history, providing unobstructed views and minimizing obstruction to water flow.
Commenting on the win, Diane Bourne, Managing Director of Eric Wright Civil Engineering, said: “Since its completion, Pooley Bridge has won numerous awards and we are so proud that it has now been named the top civil engineering project. from the country.
“The new bridge is an extraordinary example of community, landscape and contractors working in harmony to deliver an exceptional new bridge that is relevant to the local area. We are delighted that the judges recognized how much the new bridge means to the people of Cumbria whose lives have been severely affected by Storm Desmond.
More than 250 people and more than 10,000 hours
More than 250 people participated in the project, working more than 10,000 hours. Some 80 tonnes of stainless steel, 2,000 tonnes of concrete and 650 square meters of locally sourced stone were used in the construction programme.
Described as the jewel of Cumbria County Council’s infrastructure recovery program and the ‘people’s bridge’, it is designed to withstand flooding and comply with Environment Agency regulations.
Councilor Keith Little, Cabinet Member of Cumbria County Council for Highways and Transport, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Pooley’s new bridge has been recognized with further well-deserved national and regional awards. The council and our partners worked hard to repair the widespread damage to our highways and structures following Storm Desmond and the new Pooley Bridge was one of the last major projects to be completed.
“I would like to thank all of our contractors for creating a fantastic new structure, and I would also like to thank the local Pooley Bridge community who have worked with us throughout the design stages and throughout construction. The awards are a testament to the skill and innovation of everyone involved, and the iconic new bridge is something we can all be very proud of and will attract many more visitors in the years to come.
Project partners included bridge specialists Knight Architects, GHD and Mott MacDonald.
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£7m Pooley Bridge wins two national grand prizes
Official opening of the UK’s first stainless steel road bridge at Pooley Bridge