As you may know Pooley Bridge, the bridge over the river Eamont in the eponymous village of Pooley Bridge at the north east end of Ullswater, was washed away during Storm Desmond in December 2015. The bridge was erected in 1764, replacing an earlier bridge from the 16th century and was a lovely thing to behold.
Its loss meant people had to make a significant detour to the east as the next bridge over the Eamont was also out of commission. This caused a great deal of inconvenience to people living locally as well as making it difficult for visitors.
Cumbria County Council moved as fast as they could (they were very busy after Desmond) and put a temporary bridge in place which opened to traffic on 20th March, 2016.
Four years on and the ongoing programme of works recovering fully from Storm Desmond continues (and will continue to do so for some years yet) and for Pooley Bridge work to construct a replacement road bridge is progressing well. The next stage of the project will involve the installation of a temporary footbridge and removal of the current temporary road bridge.
That means that from today, Monday, 9th September, there will be no foot or vehicle access over the River Eamont for a short period whilst a temporary footbridge is under construction, once completed the temporary footbridge will allow people access across the river whilst the new bridge is constructed.
During the next 1.5 to 2 weeks while no footbridge is available there will be a free, return shuttle bus from the temporary car park at the A592/B5320 junction and steamer pier for anyone wishing to travel into the village.
Cumbria County Council is investing £5 million to create an iconic 128-feet long structure which will be the only stainless steel road bridge in the country.
During the construction phase of the project, from now until Spring 2020, there will be no vehicle access over the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge while the new bridge is being built and there will be clearly signed diversion routes in operation.
Access to car parking facilities will be available near the junction of the A592 and B5320 near Pooley Bridge, on the western side of the River Eamont, and within the village on the eastern side of the river, throughout the construction works.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said:
We have now reached another important milestone in this exciting project. As part of the project, a temporary footbridge will be provided to help maintain pedestrian access in and out of the village while the new bridge is built because keeping Pooley Bridge open for business is of the utmost importance to us. We appreciate there will be disruption while there's no road crossing the river. However the council has worked closely with the community and we've done everything we can to minimise disruption and I'd like to thank people for their patience and understanding during this period.
For more information, go to www.cumbria.gov.uk/pooleybridge.
Photo of old Pooley Bridge by Peter McDermott and is licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 2.0 licence. Image of new bridge copyright Cumbria Country Council/Knight Architects
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