Flock of Sheep Heralds Historic Opening of UK's First Stainless-Steel Bridge

A new stainless-steel bridge was officially opened to vehicle traffic and pedestrians October 23, five years after Storm Desmond destroyed an 18th-century stone bridge connecting the Ullswater Valley over the River Eamont.

The new Pooley Bridge officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning. Local farmers tested the new bridge by herding sheep over the structure, made entirely of stainless steel and the first of its kind in the UK.

Penrith resident Mark Finnie shared this footage, telling Storyful that his car was the first over the bridge Friday morning.

The previous 250-year-old stone structure had washed away during Storm Desmond in December 2015. The bridge was repaired, along with more than 450 others, as part of the Cumbria City Council’s Infrastructure Recovery Program, reports said.

“It’s been a long five years and local businesses have suffered, but we’re really thrilled now,” said Miles MacInnes, chairman of Barton and Pooley Bridge Parish Council. “It looks wonderful, and we are sure this spectacular modern structure will prove a popular tourist attraction in its own right.” Credit: Mark Finnie via Storyful