Cumbria Infrastructure Recovery Programme – Brougham Old Bridge

Constructing Excellence

Brougham Old Bridge ‘BOB’ is an English Heritage listed bridge that was built in 1811 and provides key access to the popular tourist attraction of Brougham Castle on the outskirts of Penrith, Cumbria. The bridge is one of the 1200#+ individual schemes that form the wider £120m Cumbria County Council Infrastructure Recovery Programme (IRP) established following Storm Desmond in December 2015. In the days that followed the storm, river levels rose to unprecedented highs and washed away significant structural elements of the bridge.

This project presented a number of key the challenges:

  • Initially unable to get safe access to the bridge to fully assess the damage, it was feared that BOB would become a total loss. Temporary stabilisation was needed to be undertaken before any long term permanent solution could be considered, but no personal could get closer than 5m. Meticulous sequencing and safety planning needed to be established.
  • As a listed structure we knew that retaining the original aesthetic appearance of BOB was crucial, but we also needed to provide a resilient solution that would reinstate BOB back to its former glory and ensure it was capable of surviving another 200yrs.
  • We needed to reclaim as much of the existing stonework as possible for future use. This would all need to be carefully removed from the riverbed and forensically sorted into appropriate areas for re-use.
  • We needed to ensure there was no further movement with the BOB’s structure both before and during construction.