Poole Bridge
A stainless steel structure is to replace the original 300-year-old bridge

Work restarts on £5m Pooley Bridge

Dan Whelan

Preston-based contractor Eric Wright Group has restarted work to build a replacement bridge across the River Eamont in Cumbria, following a month-long break due to the pandemic. 

Work to replace the original Pooley Bridge, which was destroyed by floods in December 2015, was temporarily suspended on 27 March as the Government enforced national social distancing measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

Eric Wright Group’s civil engineering arm has since drawn up measures to ensure the contractor can safely carry out the work on site in line with guidance on social distancing, and has received assurances from Cumbria County Council that it can proceed with the project. 

The original bridge, which was more than 300 years old, was washed away after strong rains hit the area. 

A temporary bridge was later constructed allowing vehicles to cross the river while the council drew up plans for a permanent, stainless steel structure. 

Work started in September 2019 and was expected to complete this spring, but delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic mean the project will now finish later than planned. 

Diane Bourne, managing director at Eric Wright Civil Engineering, said: “The welfare and safety of our staff and contractors is of paramount importance.  

“We have introduced stringent health and safety measures across the site, including undertaking a programme of rigorous daily cleaning, installing new and additional wash facilities, adopting safe distancing measures in welfare areas, and staggering breaks.”  

This ‘safety-first’ message is being echoed across the group with Eric Wright Construction’s managing director, John Wilson, confirming that several changes have been implemented across project sites, including staggering start times to reduce any potential bottlenecks. 

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