Rochdale stays closed

Published: Wednesday, 23 December 2020

THE Rochdale Canal will not be re-opened at Punchbowl Bridge (43) in time for Christmas as was hoped.

There has been no communication from the local authority—the owners of the bridge—concerning the required repairs to the bridge at the summit of the waterway.

Powers under British Waterways Act

The outcome is that Canal & River Trust is taking the matter in its own hands by exercising its powers under the British Waterways Act  Act 1995, to enable the works to be carried out to make the bridge safe for navigation following the emergency closure in early October, Keith Gudgin reports.

The Trust has been working closely with Rochdale Council who are installing traffic management to the road and bridge in the form of concrete barriers and signs to warn motorists that the road has been narrowed.  This traffic management should reduce the risk of further deterioration but does not address the significant risk from the loose, delaminating concrete that caused the stoppage.

Open in time for new season

This week there will be further inspections together with the contractors, to establish the scope and design of the repair needed to make this bridge safe for navigation, with the hope it will be completed in time for the start of the 2021 cruising season.