River Eamont (Part 27)
As I have been following the journey of the River Eamont from its source over this year, I have referred a lot to bridges that cross it. I have been fascinated by why and how people over the centuries have built ways of getting across the river, whether they were on foot, in a carriage, in a car, on a train. And now, after the floods, there is a lot of focus generally on bridges. The damage caused to bridges by the water surging under and over them is quite staggering. Currently 22 bridges remain closed, either because they have collapsed, as we saw with Pooley Bridge, or so damaged as to be unsafe, or because they have yet to be inspected for damage.
All 1,600 bridges in the county are being assessed for potential damage, but in some cases underwater inspections, carried out by divers, are hampered by river levels and the speed of flow. This is the case here at Eamont Bridge. You can see in the picture that the water levels are still high even now and the water is running very quickly. Not the ideal conditions for getting below the water to examine the arches. So the bridge remains closed, although the temporary (!) iron footbridge is undamaged and open. The road going over the bridge is the busy A6, a main North/South route, as well as an important local link road. Trying to get anywhere round here takes a fair amount of planning and roads that were once narrow back lanes are now very busy.
To the right of the picture you can see evidence of the power of the water as it obviously surged over the pathway and destroyed the wall, bringing down huge lumps of stone.
Here is the same bridge six months ago.