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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Army to start dismantling Barker Crossing bridge in Workington

More than 120 soldiers will be in Workington next week to start dismantling Barker Crossing footbridge.

Workington bridge photo
Barker Crossing

A team of 128 soldiers will work around the clock to take down the 170ft bridge, which was named in memory of PC Bill Barker who was killed when the Northside Bridge was swept away during the flood, from Monday.

Brigadier Bill Aldridge, Commander of 42 (North West) Brigade, said that Barker Crossing was only ever a temporary emergency measure until other bridges could serve the same purpose.

He said that because extracting the bridge is a “relatively complex operation,” Barepot Road will close for three days to ensure everyone’s safety.

But, following talks with residents, soldiers will be working around the clock for three days, to minimise disruption.

Brigadier Aldridge said: “The Royal Engineers are very proud of the crossing and are pleased to be returning to Cumbria in happier circumstances.

“We feel a part of the community, many of us living, working and being recruited in the area. We have been made most welcome and have been glad to be able to use some of the engineering skills we use in Afghanistan to support Cumbria in its time of need.”

The team of soldiers carrying out the work are from 64 Works Group Royal Engineers and 53 Field Squadron Royal Engineers and are being assisted by local Territorial Army soldiers from 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and 156 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps.

After west Cumbria was devastated by the floods 15 months ago, the army worked around the clock to build the crossing over the River Derwent.

It opened just 18-days after Workington was thrown into chaos and became a lifeline for many people when the town was split in two.

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