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Princess Royal opens newly-built bridge destroyed in Cumbrian floods
4:44pm Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
A CUMBRIAN bridge rebuilt after it was washed away by floods was given the royal seal of approval today.
Workington’s Northside Bridge was opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal after a three-year programme to reconstruct the town’s damaged structures was completed.
Before unveiling the plaque, Her Royal Highness met Hazel Barker and her four children at the southern side of the bridge next to a memorial to her late husband, PC Bill Barker, who died when the bridge was washed away in November 2009.
She was joined in being the first to cross the bridge by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria Sir James Cropper, a small group of cyclists and school pupils.
The opening marks the completion of Cumbria County Council’s flood recovery programme in Workington which has seen five bridges built or rebuilt across the River Derwent.
At £11.2m, Northside Bridge was the largest single project in the entire flood recovery programme.
It has been built on a similar alignment to that of the previous Northside Bridge, but is wider to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists.
Coun Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We’re all very proud to see Northside Bridge open and proud of the whole flood recovery effort over the last three years.
“Workington now has a new road bridge to be proud of and we can finally say ‘we’ve done it’.
"I’m delighted that local people had a chance to be involved in the royal opening, as they were involved in shaping the design of the bridge in the first place.
"Today’s events were tinged with a note of sadness at the memory of PC Bill Barker, but his family were incredibly brave to attend and they can be very proud of the lasting legacy to Bill which is in the bridge."