Earith Bridge: modern and historic works to the structure

Heritage Lottery FundIn my last post I mentioned the recent closure of important crossing points over the Ouse Washes.

Limited or difficult access opportunities is a recurring feature of the Ouse Washes LP landscape, as shown in another, previous post.

Flooded Earith causeway – earlier this year. Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/News/Raising-the-road-to-help-reduce-flooding-at-Earith-Bridge

Further exacerbating connectivity problems for local communities are the current works on Earith Bridge, one of the few crossing points over the Ouse Washes and Great Ouse River.

Although both Welney causeway and Sutton Ghault causeways have been down for traffic, Earith causeway is still unaffected. Nevertheless, this causeway is also prone to flooding and was shut for a prolonged period earlier this year.

Earith - Village Sign

Earith: village sign

Currently, a £350,000 project is being delivered to carry out repairs on the Earith bridge structure; this work started on March 1 and should take around six weeks to complete, with the bulk of the work carried out at weekends under a full bridge closure with off-peak working controlled by traffic lights during weekdays. 

The road will also now be resurfaced to raise the level and fill in low points which are the most prone to flooding. As a result, there should be a noticeable reduction in the number and duration of road closures caused by flooding. Some articles which provide more details on these works: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/News/Raising-the-road-to-help-reduce-flooding-at-Earith-Bridge and http://www.huntspost.co.uk/news/latest-news/earith_road_will_be_raised_to_help_reduce_number_of_floods_1_1969395

Earith Suspension bridge 1929

Earith suspension bridge c1929, the predecessor to the current bridge, originally built in 1865. Source: Mike Petty

This important crossing point over the Great Ouse river has a long history. Mike Petty recently wrote an interesting article about the history of the river crossing at Earith, with a succession of bridges at this spot going back to at least 1286. You can download a copy of Mike’s article here:Bridging the Gap – Mike Petty 25 03 2013 in Cambridge News

Flooding 1960 Earith

In 1960 an ex-army truck was mobilized to shuttle school children to Earith primary school through the flooded road. source: Mike Petty.

With an increase in traffic after WWII, the present bridge was built and was officially opened on 5th April 1963.

This entry was posted in Access, Communities, Flooding, Heritage, History, Stage 2-Development Phase, Theme 1-Water Everywhere, Theme 2-Hidden Heritage and tagged , , , , , , , by markatousewasheslps. Bookmark the permalink.

About markatousewasheslps

I am currently coordinating a partnership-led bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (for a circa £600K Heritage Grant bid) focusing on strengthening the unique yet vulnerable natural heritage in the Cambridgeshire Fens surrounding the Old west River, the new 'New Life on the Old West' project. Until recently I was the Programme Manager for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme, leading on the 1-year development and 3-year delivery phases of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant-aided Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP) scheme (from Dec 2012 until March 2017), on behalf of and in close cooperation with a wide range of local, regional and national partner organisations. The Ouse Washes LP's portfolio of 51 projects have focused on: conservation works to historic and natural environmental assets; improving community participation & engagement with the landscape and its heritage; increasing access and learning opportunities; and providing more opportunities for training in traditional land management skills. The overall aim has been to leave a long-term legacy for this fascinating and unique landscape, in the process creating tangible improvements to social, economic and environmental aspects of this landscape, its heritage and communities.