Work continues on the replacement of the Gawflat swing bridge

Skipton swing bridge back in place

OVER nearly three weeks in July contractors working for the Canal & River Trust replaced a well-used swing bridge over the Leeds & Liverpool canal in Skipton in North Yorkshire.

Work continues on the replacement of the Gawflat swing bridge
Work continues on the replacement of the Gawflat swing bridge in Skipton on July 14. At the time this photograph was taken, the canal wasn’t closed to navigation, with the engineers working on the bridge moving it out of the way for boats to pass.

The bridge, No 176 on the canal, carries a public footpath to Aireville Park and the local college and is swung out of the way by boat crews when they want to navigate along this stretch of canal.

On Sunday July 4, a large crane was set up in the yard of the Magnet kitchen store in Carleton New Road alongside the canal and the existing bridge, believed to be about 40 years old and which had become difficult to operate, was removed by the crane.

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The following weekend on Sunday July 11, the new swing bridge weighing around 20 tonnes was lifted into place following the preparations carried out during the intervening week to enable it to fit.

A hireboat passes contractors getting ready to replace the Gawflat swing bridge in Skipton.
A hireboat passes contractors getting ready to replace the Gawflat swing bridge in Skipton.

Work took place on Sundays to enable local roads to be closed to get the crane and bridges in and out safely.
However due to hydraulic and mechanical problems with the crane on the second Sunday, the job took longer than anticipated.

The bridge arrived on site at about 10.30am but it was well into the evening by the time it was in place, with the contractors only getting away from the site at about 00.45am on the Monday morning.   
Final commissioning was done over the next few days with the bridge being opened to pedestrians and cars on Tuesday July 20. 

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By Colin Wareing. PHOTOS: COLIN WAREING, COLIN AND CAROLE’S CREATIONS

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