A new bridge has been installed on the Keswick to Threlkeld path to replace one which was washed away by Storm Desmond more than four years ago.
The successful operation to lower the giant Low Pearson’s bridge into position was hailed a landmark moment in the restoration of the former railway line, which had become extremely popular with walkers, runners and cyclists until the 2015 storm wrecked it.
A two-minute video shows spectacular time-lapse footage of the new metal bridge being carefully manoeuvred on industrial rollers by workers using heavy plant so it now spans the River Greta at the isolated location.
The filming of the bridge installation took place on 6th March, prior to any social distancing restrictions due to Covid-19.
Footage from the ground and air using a drone captures the work being carried out by Cubby Construction on behalf of the Lake District National Park Authority. Mark Eccles, the authority’s head of park management, said: “This is impressive work by Cubby. The bridge provides a new River Greta crossing nearly twice the length of the original bridge destroyed in Storm Desmond. The longer structure deals with the river erosion and provides resilience for the future.
“The video highlights the technical challenge to access the site, prepare it and to manoeuvre the significant bridge into place. Another bridge similar to this is being provided at Brundholme and all the original railway bridges (which survived the storm) are in the process of being refurbished to extend their life and have added resilience where possible.”
Highways England is providing most of the funding for the £5 million trail reconnection project. However, it has not been without controversy, with a widespread community campaign backed by Keswick Town Council opposing the use of Tarmac for the path’s new surface rather than more natural material.