Army Engineers have returned to Cumbria to dismantle the temporary military bridge over the River Derwent erected during severe flooding at Workington in December 2009.
Engineers return to Cumbria to remove 'Barker Crossing' 22 February 2011
A party of 128 soldiers from 64 Works Group Royal Engineers and 53 Field Squadron Royal Engineers assisted by local TA soldiers from 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and 156 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps will dismantle the 170ft logistic support bridge named Barker Crossing in memory of PC Bill Barker who was killed when the Northside Bridge was swept away.
Devastating floods in 2009 hit many bridges in Cumbria causing damage and making them unsafe. The Army was requested by the civil authorities to build a temporary foot bridge in Workington when the town was divided by the River Derwent.
The town has since undergone much restoration and the nearby Calva Bridge has now been opened to pedestrians, meaning the temporary bridge can now be removed.
“Barker Crossing was only ever a temporary emergency measure until other bridges could serve the same purpose,” said Brigadier Bill Aldridge, Commander of 42 (North West) Brigade that has managed both the installation and extraction of the Barker Crossing.
“The Royal Engineers are very proud of the crossing and are pleased to be returning to Cumbria in happier circumstances. Extracting the bridge is a relatively complex operation and will mean we have to close Barepot Road for three days to ensure everyone’s safety.
“We are very grateful to the very patient residents of Barepot and, following talks with them, we will be operating around the clock from Monday 21 February for three days to minimise the disruption.
“We feel a part of your 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 dismantled bridge sections will be transported by military DROPS vehicles from the river bank to Eddie Stobart’s yard in the Lillyhall Industrial Estate.