The new Pooley Bridge is in the running to for a prestigious international award – and needs your help to win.
A competition is underway to find the best community civil engineering project and residents of, and visitors to, the Lakeland beauty spot are being urged to vote and show their support for the structure as part of the Institution of Civil Engineers People’s Choice Award, 2021.
The international competition showcases the best of civil engineering, recognising projects that have a positive impact on the local economy and communities whilst highlighting the benefits civil engineering brings to people’s everyday lives.
Pooley Bridge’s original Grade II listed bridge had stood for over 250 years, providing a critical link to daily life. Its abrupt removal, caused by Storm Desmond, left the community separated with a 15-mile detour to navigate.
The unique replacement is the UK’s first stainless steel road traffic bridge, built with unanimous community backing. Its innovative stainless-steel structure is better equipped to cope with any future flooding.
Over 250 people were involved in the project, working more than 10,000 hours. Some 80 tonnes of stainless steel, 2,000 tonnes of concrete and 650 square metres of locally sourced stone were used as part of the construction programme.
Emma Antrobus, regional director of ICE North West, said: “The new Pooley Bridge is a shining example of how civil engineering can enhance and improve the very fabric of society. We’re thrilled to see it recognised in the People’s Choice competition and are rooting for it to win.”
Commissioned by Cumbria County Council, the new Pooley Bridge was opened in October 2020 with work completed by main project partners Knight Architects, Eric Wright Civil Engineering, GHD and Mott MacDonald.
Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport said: “The replacement of this iconic landmark has been one of the biggest infrastructure projects delivered by the county council.
“Partnership has been key to the success of the new bridge, which is a vital artery for locals and for the millions of tourists that visit every year. The community now has an iconic new bridge to be proud of, which will attract many new and returning visitors for years to come.”
Votes can be made online at www.ice.org.uk/peopleschoice before 5pm on October 19.
The People’s Choice winner will be announced in November.