Historic moment for Pooley Bridge as new crossing is lowered into place

  • Watch the moment the new bridge is lowered into place. Credit: Cumbria County Council.

A five million pound bridge has been lowered into place, linking the two sides of Pooley Bridge on Ullswater.

The new steel structure replaces the original 250-year-old stone bridge, which was completely washed away in the floods of Storm Desmond in 2015.

The complex operation to place the crossing over the River Eamont was completed in around three hours.

Work was suspended in March due to COVID-19 pandemic, but after careful consideration Cumbria County Council reviewed the project and said it could continue, in line with Public Health England guidance.

Credit: Cumbria County Council

The single span bridge, set to open to pedestrians and vehicles in June 2020, is the first stainless steel road bridge of its kind in the country.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “This is a significant milestone in reconnecting the local community and it is great to see the impressive new bridge structure lifted into place at Pooley Bridge.

"This improved connectivity will not only be welcomed by local residents, but will be a vital component in re-starting the local economy as we come out of the lock-down period.

“We had hoped to have a celebration event to mark the occasion but under the Covid-19 social distancing restrictions the lift took place without public access but once these measures are relaxed we hope people will again visit this beautiful part of Cumbria and see the new bridge for themselves.”

Credit: Cumbria County Council

Miles Mac Innes, who is the Chairman of Pooley Bridge Parish Council, said: “It’s tremendously exciting to see this iconic structure finally lifted into place – something we’ve been longing for since our lovely 251 year old bridge was swept away by Storm Desmond four and a half years ago.

"I think it’s fair to say that Pooley Bridge - her bridge, her businesses and her residents - has come in for a battering since 2015: from having no bridge to now Covid-19. However, our community is nothing if not resilient.

"I am so proud of how we have all come together over this time – an already close-knit community working more closely together for a common cause."