Works to repair a damaged bridge have been completed and the road has reopened to all traffic.

Contractors for Cumbria County Council have completed repair works on Seathwaite Bridge near Duddon.

Repairs were completed beneath the bridge to remove the existing props and install a custom support system.

Repairs were needed because the flood arch had deteriorated further in recent weeks and had a reduced load-bearing capacity.

A road closure, with a 3-tonne restriction on the bridge were in place between 4pm and 9am to ensure works were completed safely.

A temporary support system has been installed and the road has reopened. Seathwaite bridge now has an increased capacity of 18 tonnes, which allows an improved level of access to the farms and communities north of the bridge, without the need to use Hardknott or Wrynose Passes during winter.

The council has worked closely with the farming community, feed and fuel merchants, the school minibus service, the Parish Council and District Council, who recognised the need to progress these works as a matter of urgency ahead of winter.

The partners agreed that a permanent closure would be necessary should the bridge have deteriorated further.

The council will continue to work with the community during the development of the full strengthening scheme to 40 tonnes, due to be carried out in summer 2021.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m delighted these vital works have been completed and the bridge has reopened to traffic.

"This is a key route for the local community and it was important to carry out these works ahead of the colder winter weather. The bridge repairs will also provide a strong foundation for the permanent strengthening works which are scheduled for next summer.

He said: "I’d like to thank the local community and other partners for their patience and input in to these essential works.”