Eric Wright Civil Engineering for Cumbria County Council & Mott MacDonald
In December 2015, large parts of the Lake District were badly damaged by flooding, as Storm Desmond followed a succession of other downpours to dump unprecedented volumes of rain into Cumbria’s becks, streams and rivers. Many towns and villages were inundated as centuries-old watercourses burst their banks – releasing floodwaters that did extensive damage to homes and businesses alike.
In the wake of the disaster, Cumbria County Council developed plans for widespread improvements, including bridge repairs, reinforcement works and the installation of new flood defence measures.
Several such projects were undertaken during the winter of 2016/17 by our client, the Lancashire-based Eric Wright Group. One of these took place at Gote Bridge in Cockermouth, and another at Hucks Bridge near Kendal. Flood alleviation measures included re-profiling river beds, reinforcing the bridges themselves, and diverting watercourses with special provision for the passage of wild fish.
Keen to document progress on the sites, the client asked SUAVE to conduct a series of UAV flights to secure both photographs and video. The intention was to show how it was addressing a variety of technical challenges.
The shoots went ahead without incident and the results captured progress very effectively. Indeed, in May 2017, when the Cumbria Infrastructure Recovery Programme was shortlisted in the 2017 British Construction Industry Awards, the main contractor, , asked to use one of the photographs to represent the scheme in marketing materials and at the awards evening itself.
Civil Engineer Joseph Briggs said: “Mott MacDonald and Cumbria County Council are very proud of their shortlisting in the BCIA Awards… SUAVE was responsible for taking some fantastic photographs of the significant repairs of Hucks Bridge and we would very much like to use one on the night of the award ceremony. We believe it excellently captures the collaborative and hard work put into the project to restore and reconnect communities across the whole of Cumbria County.”
Examples of the flood alleviation photographs can be found in our online gallery.