TURNBRIDGE lift bridge on the Huddersfield Broad Canal in West Yorkshire has gone under the microscope as the Canal & River Trust has been carrying out a vital inspection.
CRT’s bridge inspector used a cherry picker to reach the top of the 6m-high bridge, colloquially known as the locomotive or ‘loco’ lift bridge due to its powered mechanical movement, as part of a principal inspection to see if any repairs were needed.
Considered of national importance, this scheduled ancient monument is part of the trust’s extensive portfolio across its 2000-mile canal network, comprising listed structures, scheduled ancient monuments and sites of scientific interest.
Andy Featherby, bridge inspector at Canal & River 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.”
Largely constructed during the reign of George III, the canal network is around 250 years old. The Canal & River Trust charity has the challenging task of keeping these historic structures in good working order with regular inspections and extensive maintenance.
Sean McGinley, CRT regional director for Yorkshire & North East, added: “This is the most historically significant structure on the Huddersfield Broad Canal and 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.”
This winter, £50 million is being allocated to restoration and repairs across the network, with £10.1 million being spent within the Yorkshire & North East region. The trust’s winter schedule of works continues until March 2024, with its teams working on 18 sites across 11 waterways in the region.