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08 September 2021

£5m maintenance works on Barrow’s Jubilee Bridge completed

A major programme of maintenance works on Cumbria’s longest road bridge has been completed, securing its future for many years to come.

Cumbria County Council has invested approximately £5m in the significant maintenance and refurbishment project on Jubilee Bridge in Barrow.

The works have included re-waterproofing the bridge deck, carrying out more than 1,000 repairs to steelwork and repainting the steel structure. The original bridge plaque from 1935, when the bridge was renamed to Jubilee Bridge from its initial name of Walney Bridge (erected in 1908), has been restored too and will be placed on the refurbished bridge. 

The three-year programme of works was carried out by the Council’s main contractor, Story Contracting, and the 350-metres long bridge remained open to traffic and pedestrians throughout this period. Up to 24,000 vehicles a day use the bridge which provides the only mainland crossing from Barrow to Walney Island.

Extensive repairs were needed because the old waterproofing of the bridge deck was failing and as a result water was seeping through the concrete deck and corroding the steel superstructure.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

“I’m delighted this very important project to repair and refurbish one of Cumbria’s key road bridges has been completed.  The County Council has invested approximately £5m in this scheme to ensure the bridge is fit for purpose and these works will secure its future for many years to come. Thanks go to our contractor, Story Contracting, for doing an excellent job, and I’d also like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience and understanding while these works have taken place.”

Cllr Kevin Hamilton, Chair of Cumbria County Council’s Barrow Local Committee, said:

“I warmly welcome the completion of maintenance works on Jubilee Bridge. This has been a major project which has resulted in some disruption for road users but we had no option but to repair the fabric of the bridge and I’m grateful the County Council has invested millions of pounds in the works. We now have a bridge which is as good as new and will continue providing a vital link between Barrow and Walney Island for many more years. Thanks go to Story's for fulfilling the works that so badly needed doing and also thanks to the residents of Walney for the patience they have shown while the work was being done.”

Alan Boyle, Operations Director for Story Contracting’s Construction division added:

“We feel proud to have supported our key client Cumbria County Council over the last few years on the essential Jubilee Bridge programme. The completed maintenance works here in Barrow will secure the structure for traffic and pedestrians for years to come and we thank them for their patience while we delivered the project.”

Ray Langley, Divisional Director of Mott MacDonald said:

“Mott MacDonald is delighted to have managed this challenging project on behalf of Cumbria County Council, particularly the social outcome of maintaining access for the residents of Walney Island for the foreseeable future. The bridge is the UK’s oldest working Scherzer bascule bridge, a brilliant piece of Edwardian engineering. As bridge engineering consultants, we take great pride in extending the life of existing assets for future generations.”

Jubilee Bridge maintenance project in numbers:

  • Over 140,000 staff hours on site
  • Over 20,000 square metres of grit blasting and painting to the superstructure and substructure
  • 11,060 kg of waterproofing liquid system applied
  • 5,000 sq metres of waterproofing laid
  • 3,200 sq metres of hot rolled asphalt laid to carriageway, hard shoulder and hard strip
  • 1,500 sq metres of surfacing laid to footways
  • Over 1,000 steelwork repairs to the superstructure
  • 600 metres of new kerbs installed
  • 500 sq metres of mastic asphalt laid to lifting span
  • Over 100 tonnes of scaffolding was installed and removed from the structure to allow access to complete the grit blast, repairs and painting works.

Jubilee Bridge completed

Councillor Markley in front of Jubilee Bridge

Councillors in front of the new and refurbished bridge plaques

Jubilee Bridge getting refurbished

Story Contractors and Mott MacDonald who completed the project on behalf of Cumbria County Council
A major programme of maintenance works on Cumbria’s longest road bridge has been completed, securing its future for many years to come.