WEC Group fabricates UK’s first Stainless Steel Road Bridge

WEC Group are delighted to have fabricated the first stainless steel road bridge in the UK, which has now been lifted into place in the historic village of Pooley Bridge in the Lake District.

The original Pooley Bridge, which dates back to 1764, was abruptly destroyed during the floods of Storm Desmond in December 2015 and serves as a crucial transport link across the River Earmont for the local area.

Working in partnership with Knights Architects, Eric Wright Civil Engineering and Cumbria County Council, the new stainless steel road bridge is an open-spandrel arch design bridge with a 40m span and crafted from 110 tonnes of Duplex 2205 stainless steel as well as concrete.

The iconic structure was fabricated at the Company’s Darwen Engineering site in 4 sections taking approximately 22,000 man hours to complete with part of the process to create a jig to mount the sections, allowing work to be completed simultaneously throughout different areas of the structure.

Deliveries to the Cumbrian site took place in January and February however work had had to be delayed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Once all safety measures had been put into place, the bridge was then assembled onsite using a temporary support structure and required a 1,200 tonne crane, one of the largest in the UK, to lift the assembled bridge structure into place.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “This is a significant milestone in reconnecting the local community and it is great to see the impressive new bridge structure lifted into place at Pooley Bridge.”

As a leader in bespoke metal fabrication, WEC Group have been involved in various projects including the design, manufacture and install of the Mead’s Reach Bridge at Temple Quay in Bristol. The complex structure of the Pooley Bridge demanded expertise to manufacture which suited the proven history and knowledge that the WEC Group possess. Please see our Stainless Steel Fabrication page for more details of previous projects.

To view photos of this iconic bridge being manufactured and installed, please visit our Flickr page, or alternatively you can browse through the below slideshow.

Pooley Bridge