Blasting Division’s work involved undertaking 2 blasts of the bridge both wet and dry to remove the existing paint works and then application of a 4 coat paint system using a fully contained hung scaffold due to the sensitive environmental nature of the project.
The bridge near the Crook O Lune picnic site links Caton with the River Lune Millennium Park. The area attracts 250,000 visitors a year and is popular among cyclists, walkers and horse riders. A landscaped picnic area alongside the river beneath the bridge was also created and trees were hedgerows and wildflowers were planned. Benches in the style of railway sleepers were also installed as well as wooden sculptures of the otters which inhabit the Lune (which is listed as one of the 10 great places to see Otters in the UK).
County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services said “I’m sure that regular visitors as well as the thousands of people who come each year from further afield, will appreciate the high quality and sympathetic restoration to this historic bridge”.
Work was delayed for a number of weeks during the summer when nesting birds were discovered beneath the bridge deck. The chicks were given time to mature and fly the nest before progress resumed.
Kim Whalley, senior bridge engineer for Lancashire County Council said “The bridge is now fully repainted which will protect it for years to come. Approximately 2,000 litres of paint have been applied to the bridge beams alone. Considering the age of the bridge, the masonry and wrought iron beams were in remarkable condition. We uncovered some areas in need of repair during the blast cleaning but the longevity of the bridge is a testament to the high standard of its original construction”
Works were completed in December 2013 when the bridge was fully reopened for public use.