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The official ribbon cutting ceremony to reopen a bridge badly damaged in the Cumbria floods will take place today Monday, December 19. The ribbon will be cut by Cumbria County Council’s Chairman, John Woolley.
Bouthrey bridge, just off the A5084 between Water Yeat and Nibthwaite in South Lakeland, was severely damaged by the some of the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in England in November 2009. A temporary bridge for pedestrians and the local farmer was constructed as an interim measure and work began on repairing the main bridge.
The work has been funded by Department for Transport capital funding which was put in place immediately following the floods in 2009. The type of repair was chosen after consultation with parish councils and South Lakeland District Council and measures were included in the reconstruction to replace bat roosts and otter habitats damaged by the collapse.
The work was contracted to Amey and a local contractor Ian Shaw, while Capita Symonds designed the bridge.
Representatives from Cumbria County Council, local parish councillors, the Environment Agency, Capita Symonds and bridge contractors Ian Shaw will be on site at the new bridge prior to the opening to celebrate the occasion.
Cllr Claire Salisbury, County Councillor for High Furness, said: "This bridge repair is yet another important milestone in Cumbria’s recovery from the floods and is a good reminder of how far the county has come since those dark days of November 2009.”
"I’d like to thank local people who use Bouthrey bridge for their patience and understanding while the bridge has been out of action."
Cllr Rod Wilson, County Councillor for Cartmel, said: “The work to reconstruct Bouthrey bridge has been a complex operation in a very sensitive location. The requirement to work within important Environment Agency timeframes and the additional environmental considerations have had to be factored into the planning process as the bridge is a Grade II listed structure.”
Paul Bond from the Environment Agency said "This is another milestone in the recovery of the communities across Cumbria following the 2009 floods. The Environment Agency has worked closely with the council and contractors to manage flood risk throughout the construction of the new bridge, as well as protecting and hopefully enhancing the local environment. We are continuing to work with communities across Cumbria to look at ways to reduce their risk of flooding."
Following the opening of Bouthrey bridge, Workington’s Northside bridge – where work is ongoing to provide a replacement bridge by May 2012 - will be the only key road bridge in Cumbria that was either destroyed or damaged in the 2009 floods that is still to be replaced. In the immediate flood aftermath 20 road bridges were closed.