Seathwaite Bridge U5032
Duddon and Seathwaite
Update 6th November 2020
Further to the last update in early October regarding proposal to replace the temporary propping beneath the flood arch of Seathwaite Bridge with a more robust system, the County Council will begin urgent works on 9th November, for a two-week period. The works will require the contractor to work beneath the bridge to remove the existing props and install a purpose made system. Unfortunately, the flood arch has deteriorated in recent weeks and only has a capacity of 3 tonnes once the existing props are removed. In order for works to be completed safely and efficiently a road closure is to be put in place between 9.00am and 4.00pm each day whilst the works are undertaken, reverting to 3 tonnes outside of these times. If weather conditions are favourable works will continue over the weekend. Cyclist and pedestrian access will be maintained during the closure. On completion of these works the bridge will have a capacity of 18 tonnes, which will allow a reasonable level of access to the farms and communities north of the bridge, without the need to use Hardknott or Wrynose Passes over the winter months.
The County Council have consulted the emergency services about these proposals, who will put in place plans to attend to any incidents whilst these works are ongoing. The County Council have also worked closely with the local farming community, feed and fuel merchants, school minibus service, the Parish Council and District Council, all of whom recognise the need to progress these works as a matter of urgency prior to the onset of winter and the likelihood of a permanent closure being necessary should the bridge deteriorate further.
The County Council will continue to work with the local community and interested parties during the development of the full strengthening schemes to 40 tonnes, so that works can be programmed to minimise disruption next summer, when a further road closure will be required. Some of the works that are to be undertaken this November will become part of the permanent strengthening scheme, and so by undertaking them now it should help to reduce the length of time that the bridge has to be closed.