Kendal residents witness £2m Gooseholme Bridge project completion

HUNDREDS gathered on the banks of the River Kent to witness the new Gooseholme Bridge being put in place.

The £2m project was delivered by Cumbria County Council to build a replacement footbridge across the river after it was damaged nearly seven years ago in Storm Desmond.

The work began in the summer of 2021 and the bridge was expertly lowered into place shortly after noon on Wednesday.

Around 200 people gathered on the bridges facing Gooseholme and on the park grounds beside the construction to witness the historic moment the footbridge was lifted from its foundations to be placed across the river.

The footbridge will provide shared access for pedestrians, cyclists, and wheelchair users.

The county council appointed Story Contracting Ltd to carry out the construction of the new bridge.

Deputy leader of the council Councillor Peter Thornton, who was present when the bridge was put in place, spoke of what the future could hold for the town.

He said: “It is amazing to see this come to be after so much work has gone into it.

“I can confidentially say this bridge will stand for over 100 years.

“This new bridge is designed to allow more water to flow beneath it to cope with rising water levels.

“We designed the bridge inline with the flood prevention scheme which is why it took so long to complete.

“We have built this with a vision to connect Kendal and provide routes for cycling, pedestrians, and people with wheelchairs.

“You’ll be seeing a number of schemes coming up in the next few years. It shows the investment that is going into the town.

“I think in a year to eighteen months, you will see a Kendal that looks really good.”

The moving of the bridge was witnessed by members of the community who spoke of their excitement about its completion.

One resident said: “It has taken a while but I think it will be worth the wait especially over the years when more things like this happen.

“I grew up in Manchester and we saw things like this all the time but they never got an audience like this. These things mean a lot for Kendal.”

The Westmorland Gazette | News