Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Bridge for flooded town under way

Soldiers contsructing bridge (Pic: Army Press Office)
A similar bridge was built by soldiers across a canal in Afghanistan

Work has started at a Lancashire army camp to assemble a new footbridge to replace one swept away by floods in Workington, Cumbria.

The 110-ton structure is being built at the Halton Camp near Lancaster by the Royal Engineers from Tidworth.

The rising waters of the River Derwent destroyed the Northside Bridge and left the Calva Bridge unstable.

Warrant officer Jerry Lafferty, who is involved in the project, said the scale of the construction was huge.

"The footbridge will reconnect the community of Workington and get them access to some of the facilities they have been cut off from," he said.

"The bridge is what we call a logistic support bridge. It is going to be a 51-metre bridge over the River Derwent and it is going to be about 110 tons, so it is a pretty heavy piece of equipment."

'Very enthusiastic'

"The lads are very enthusiastic about this project. We've had phone calls from people on leave, they've been volunteering their services and we're trying to get up as many people as possible next week."

The army said building the bridge was a good training aid as it was a larger bridge than the ones it usually built and would also have a longer term benefit.

The bridge, which is being made in sections, will be transported to Cumbria by troops from the Royal Logistic Corps. It will be a major challenge to move the bridge panels and, to minimise disruption, they will mostly be moved overnight.

Army engineers will then begin to install the bridge on site. It is almost identical to one recently constructed by British Army engineers across a canal in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

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SEE ALSO
Army footbridge for flooded town
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