Client: Cumbria County
Start/Completion: 2009 - 2010
On 19 November 2009, the central Lake
District experienced an unprecedented flooding event, ravaging
homes and vital infrastructure in a number of towns and villages
downstream in West Cumbria.
Staff from across Capita Symonds, directed by
our locally based Lillyhall and Whitehaven highways teams, were
rapidly deployed to support badly affected local communities as
well as Cumbria County Council in executing its ‘Gold Command’
Our staff all volunteered to help, working
tirelessly through the first weekend and during the following
intensive week as the waters receded. The team’s work included:
- Inspecting, assessing and making safe 1,600
river bridges, retaining walls, highways and drainage
- Planning, designing and maintaining
associated diversionary routes while affected infrastructure was
brought back into service;
- Responding to 24,000 call centre
For many, this effort involved daily
diversionary routes of up to 40 miles and round the clock manning
of selected main bridge sites and high streets to safeguard the
general public. The affected infrastructure that our teams directly
dealt with included:
- Four main collapsed bridges and four
- Seven structurally damaged and closed main
- Eight structurally damaged and closed minor
- 20 other minor bridges with varying degrees
- Nine land slips and retaining wall
- 22 damaged culverts;
- 42 road closures, including 20 emergency
- 26 emergency Traffic Regulation Orders;
- 14 Temporary Traffic Orders.
In the early weeks following the event, our
local teams continued to assist with the clear-up operation,
helping to reconnect communities by bringing vital infrastructure
back into service and rapidly assessing, quantifying, prioritising
and ordering £5m of small scale repair works.
Capita Symonds has gone on to play a major
role in the £30m recovery programme. For example, a Capita Symonds
team designed and procured the two-lane, 350-tonne bridge which
provides a temporary replacement for the town’s Calva and Northside
Bridges which were destroyed by the floods.
The team began the rapid procurement process
immediately after the floods, quickly identifying the best location
for the temporary bridge. Following discussions with key suppliers,
a reference concept design was in place which enabled Cumbria
County Council to publish a PPQ tender notice.
Within just eight weeks a contractor - Morgan
Est – had been appointed with the bridge being completed in April,
just 18 weeks after the floods.
Funded by £4.6m from the Department for Transport, the 67-metre
long, 12-metre wide structure was shipped from Holland and parts of
the UK before being assembled on site, around 200 metres east of
the former Northside Bridge. An estimated 500 tonnes of concrete
were needed for the project, with a further 900 tonnes of tarmac
for the bridge surface and approach roads.