This week the preparation work for the reconstruction of Bell Bridge reached an important milestone with the submission of the planning application which included a large amount of supporting information. Since being awarded the contract in November 2016, Story Contracting have been working with our designers Capita to understand and develop the required design and documentation in order to seek the required approvals for construction of the new bridge and repairs to Bell Lonning.
Topographic surveys have been carried out including cross sections either side of the bridge necessary for the Flood Risk Assessment. Having obtained the necessary permit from the Environment Agency, we have employed special contractor AEG to carry out Ground Investigation work. This has now been completed and once the materials have been tested will allow detailed design work to continue. Whilst on site we have also taken the opportunity to remove a number of trees which would have been effected by the works and to remove the heap of old concrete rubble to the South East of the bridge. Initial ecological and arboricultural surveys have also been carried out along with consultation with the effected landowners to agree land access requirements. We are also in discussion with Electricity North West to divert their overhead electricity cables.
Work is now progressing to compile the vast amount of assessments and documentation required for the planning application which we hope to make to Cumbria County Council in time for it to be considered at their Planning meeting on 30 March 2017. We will then make an application to the Environment Agency for consent to carry out the works within the allowable time for working in the River Caldew (June to Sept inclusive).
We are also planning the construction phase and making arrangements for the procurement of materials that have long lead in periods notably the new weathered steel beams for the new bridge deck. Subject to obtaining the necessary consents we hope to start the construction work in the middle of May.