Wool Bridge repairs up for international award

Wool Bridge repairs up for international award

Published by The Wessex FM News Team at 1:33pm 26th September 2019. (Updated at 1:35pm 26th September 2019)

The bridge collapsed last year - now the people who fixed it are up for an engineering prize.

At the moment they're competing against a multi-billion dollar project in Hong Kong in the Institution of Civil Engineers People's Choice Awards.

Repairs to Wool's Old Bridge cost £380,000.

Wool bridge
Bridge damage before work

When the Grade II listed structure crumbled into the river last year, it was placed on Historic England's At-Risk register. 

Site agent at Dorset Council Kevin Davis and his team had to fish the remains out of the river in order to put it back together.

He said: 

"If we hadn't acted when we did... we would have lost a quarter of the bridge. A quarter of the bridge would have been washed away.

"All the bricks were in the river, all the stone was all stuck together.... so we took it all apart, numbered all the stones and had to basically put it all back together from pictures."

They pieced it all back together like a puzzle and got it off the At-Risk register.

Wool Bridge
The team take a moment to admire their work

What's so special about Wool's Old Bridge?

The historic bridge featured in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and dates back to the Elizabethan era. 

It won the ICE People's Choice Award for the South West region earlier this year, where it was selected for this years international awards.

Kevin said: 

"This is one of the smallest projects that's been nominated for this award. So it is a little fish in a big bowl.

"If we won the award, that would be the biggest thing really."

Wool bridge
Portadam installation

Councillor Ray Bryan added:

"Wool Old Bridge is the best-preserved Elizabethan bridge in Dorset and we're incredibly proud of the repair work.

"We were blown away by the response from residents earlier this year which gained the scheme recognition by engineering professionals in the South West."

You can vote for the bridge here.

wool bridge