Bridge built by Eric Wright wins award

A road bridge built to replace an 18th century crossing damaged by Storm Desmond has been named as the best civil engineering project (over £5m) in the north west by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (NW).

Pooley Bridge, which spans the River Eamont in Cumbria, was designed by Knight Architects and built by Bamber Bridge-based Eric Wright Civil Engineering. It was completed safely during COVID restrictions and was formally opened in October last year.

The original bridge, which was built in 1764, was one of more than 700 bridges in the county to be damaged by Storm Desmond and resulted in a 16km detour to access Pooley. The new bridge is a 40m single span bowstring arch and is the UK’s first stainless steel road bridge. 

Diane Bourne, managing director of Eric Wright Civil Engineering said: "Replacing a much-loved historic structure is never without its challenges and we consulted closely with the local community every step of the way to ensure what we delivered would be a fitting replacement for generations to come.

"The village embraced the project and we are so grateful for all of their support. The new bridge connects people once again and is future-proofed for flood resilience which will bring peace of mind to the local community."

Pooley Bridge is also nominated for the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) North West Awards that will be announced on March 11. Eric Wright Civil Engineering’s work at Chester’s historic Northgate Steps was also Highly Commended by CECA in the category project under £1m. In Yorkshire and Humber the team has won the ICE Smeaton Award 2021 for the Sugden End Landfill Remediation Works.

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