YESTERDAY, Tuesday, the historic Loco Lift Bridge on the Huddersfield Broad Canal went under a detailed inspection.
The Canal & River Trust’s bridge inspector used a cherry picker to reach the top of the 20ft high bridge as part of a principal inspection to determine if any repairs are required.
Of national importance
Considered of national importance, this scheduled ancient monument is part of the trust’s extensive portfolio across its 2,000 miles canal network, comprising listed structures, scheduled ancient monuments and sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).
Largely constructed during the reign of George III, the canal network is around 250 years old with the Canal & River Trust telling it has the challenging task of keeping these historic structures in good working order with regular inspections and extensive maintenance.
Adding that this winter, £50 million is being allocated to restoration and repairs across the network, with £10.1 million being spent within the Yorkshire and North East region.
Head for heights
Andy Featherby, Bridge Inspector at the trust explained:
“You certainly need a head for heights doing my role! I’m carrying out the inspection in two stages, using the cherry picker to take a thorough look at the highest sections of the bridge, before completing the assessment from the ground.
“I’ll be looking for any structural changes or defects that could affect the stability of the structure, as well as signs of rusting and corrosion. From this inspection we can work out how best to continue looking after this impressive bridge.”
Sean McGinley, Regional Director Yorkshire & North East from Canal & River Trust added:
“With our canals more popular than ever before these inspections are a hugely important part of the work our charity does to keep the nation’s canals and historic structures in top shape, and to ensure they remain open and safe for boats and towpath users to enjoy.
“This is the most historically significant structure on the Huddersfield Broad Canal will be 160 years old next year. While many objects of this age are locked away in a museum, our canals showcase working heritage, you can see these amazing feats of engineering and remarkable relics still being regularly used today.
“Vandalism and fly-tipping continue to be ongoing challenges along this stretch of the canal, with graffiti to the nearby footbridge - we’d love to hear from anyone interested in supporting our charity to look after this area.”
The trust’s winter schedule of works continues until March 2024, with its expert teams working on 18 sites, across 11 waterways in the region.