Buckbarrow Bridge, a key link between Duddon Bridge and Corney Village, will be demolished and replaced due to significant structural concerns.

Concerns over potential collapse under vehicle weight led to the bridge's closure in August 2023.

Since then, the Cumberland Council has been in close contact with the community and relevant stakeholders, providing frequent updates on access to Corney Fell Road.

An extensive assessment deemed the repair of the existing bridge as not feasible, leading to a decision to replace it.

The preferred replacement structure has been identified considering multiple factors including cost, project duration, and environmental impact.

Before the replacement process commences, additional hydrology and scour assessments on the river's flow speed and potential scour risk will be conducted.

Demolition of Buckbarrow Bridge is said to be 'unavoidable'.

Given the complexity of the task, particularly following the discovery of coal tar in the bridge, additional support structures are necessary.

As the area frequently serves as a nesting ground for birds, steps have been taken to ensure their safety within the design of the new structure.

The process of demolishing the existing structure will extend over the coming months.

The timeline for the project began in mid-April with the receipt of topographical survey and hydrological assessment results and it will culminate with the installation of the new bridge in early summer 2025.

Other milestones include the issue of the design and build project tender in mid-May and the contract awarding at the end of July.

The existing road closure will remain in place, with the diversion route along the A595 from Waberthwaite to Duddon Bridge.

Cumberland Councillor Denise Rollo, executive member for Sustainable, Resilient and Connected Places, said: "The council has been actively collaborating with local community and interest groups.

"We fully understand their frustrations regarding the access over Corney Fell Road, but sadly Buckbarrow Bridge has been deemed unsafe, and therefore we will need to replace it.

"Given that the replacement costs are not included within the current three-year programme, I am pleased to have the support from the council’s executive in reallocating funding to allow this scheme to be completed.

"We extend our thanks to the community for their patience and support, while we make this access safe for everyone."