The exciting project to replace Gooseholme Bridge in Kendal will reach a key milestone next week when work starts on the removal of the current storm-damaged structure.
Cumbria County Council is delivering the £1.65m bridge project as part of its Infrastructure Recovery Programme. The scheme will be jointly funded by Cumbria County Council, the Environment Agency and South Lakeland District Council.
The current footbridge, damaged during Storm Desmond, is no longer fit for purpose and is being replaced with a single span bridge which will be 3.5m wide to provide shared access for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.
Removing the bridge during the period when construction activities are permitted in the watercourse, is key to enabling the construction of the new bridge in 2020.
The new bridge will have no piers or other obstruction in the river and will tie in with the Environment Agency Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Story Contracting has been appointed as the contractor to remove the footbridge. Demolition work is scheduled to start on site on Tuesday 27 August and is expected to last approximately six weeks.
It is intended to salvage as much material from the bridge for use elsewhere in Cumbria and the local area. Any salvageable timber will be used by the Public Right of Way Team in footbridges around the county and the curved ends of the piers we are considering using as bench ends within the Kendal area.
A site compound will be established on the Gooseholme side of the bridge. Public access to the common land and all other facilities in the area, including the putting green, will be maintained throughout this period. No road closures or traffic management measures are required during the works and it is anticipated there will be minimal impact on traffic flow in the area.
Following the completion of a public engagement on the design of the new bridge earlier this month, work is now progressing on assessing the feedback from the public and refining the bridge design. A summary of the feedback is available on the county council’s website – https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/gooseholme/project.asp
Cllr Peter Thornton, Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council and Local Member of Kendal Strickland and Fell, said: “I’m very pleased to see work starting on this exciting project which will deliver a superb new bridge for Kendal providing shared access for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair and mobility scooter users. We are aiming to save as much as possible of the existing bridge stonework and other materials so they can be recycled and reused. I’m very aware that the closure of Gooseholme footbridge has caused great inconvenience to local people and I’d like to thank them for their patience during this period as we worked with the Environment Agency to provide a bridge which will be more flood resilient, will fit in with their flood alleviation scheme and will be evidence of this council’s commitment to active travel around Kendal.”