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29/6/2011 - Council welcomes confirmation of DfT funding for new road bridge in Workington

Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member responsible for highways and economic development has welcomed the news that the Government has given the final green light to confirm the funding to build a replacement for Northside road bridge in Workington, which was destroyed in the floods of November 2009.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker today confirmed that the Department for Transport will provide £ 11.17 million towards the new permanent crossing of the River Derwent.

Cumbria County Council's Cabinet last month approved Birse Civils, part of the Balfour Beatty Group, as the preferred contractor to build the new bridge. Now that the Government has formally confirmed that the funding will go ahead, the county council can finalise the necessary legal arrangements with landowners and formally award the contract to Birse Civils so that work on the new structure can start.

The construction programme is scheduled to take 45 weeks and the new bridge will span 152m over the river. The new steel bridge beams will be positioned into place around five months into the project. The structure is supported on concrete piers and will be clad in sandstone, similar to that used on the original bridge. Where possible reclaimed stone from the original structure will be used.

Associated works include service diversions, retaining walls and roadworks to connect the new bridge to Workington's existing road network.

The new bridge has already secured planning permission and the design has been shaped and supported by local people. The three span structure will carry vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on a similar alignment to that of the previous Northside bridge.

Cllr Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for highways and economic development, said:

"There's been an enormous amount of planning and work to get to where we are now, but the reality is that nothing could be built until it was confirmed the funding was in place. We now have that confirmation and can press ahead with this major project for the town of Workington."

Birse Civils Regional Managing Director, Dave Lowiss said:

"We are delighted to be awarded the contract to reconstruct Northside road bridge in Workington in partnership with Cumbria County Council. Following the recent completion of the River Eden bridge as part of the Carlisle Northern Development Route, we will use our proven experience to ensure the successful delivery of this vital bridge for the people of Workington."



Media enquiries to Gareth Cosslett, Strategic Communications Advisor on 07973 811206