Work starts on Montgomery's last highway obstruction

Published: Monday, 01 May 2023

AFTER setbacks and delays work has started on the reconstruction of Schoolhouse Bridge, the last highway obstruction on the Montgomery Canal.

SchoolhouseCutThe cutting of the first sod by Cllr Vince Hunt, Chairman of Shropshire Council accompanied by Cllr Joyce Barrow. The boundary of their two divisions runs down the middle of Schoolhouse Bridge.

The bridge, on a country lane south of Oswestry, was blocked many years ago after the canal was abandoned and is the main obstruction on the derelict section to the Welsh border at Llanymynech.

Raised over £1 million

To tackle the bridge the local waterway charities came together to organise its reconstruction. As well as running a series of local and national fund-raising appeals which have raised over £1 million, experienced volunteers prepared the bridge design, obtained all the technical approvals, and negotiated with the Canal & River Trust, Shropshire Council and adjoining landowners for the formal agreements needed for the work.

Contractors Beaver Bridges of Shrewsbury have been appointed to rebuild the bridge and have started work on the project which will run through to late summer. They have closed the road and are fencing the site and preparing their base for welfare facilities and the storage of materials and equipment.

SchoolhouseDigAlmost six years to the day

Michael Limbrey, Chairman of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! group which has promoted the project, enthused:

“We are delighted that our contractors are starting to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge almost six years to the day after we launched our appeal for the project.

"There have been complications on the way—a world-wide pandemic was one!—so the start is later than we had hoped. Fortunately our neighbours have been very understanding and we are very grateful to them."