December 12th 1999: The ground to the west of Mottram Road had been excavated in November. The archway of the original bridge had been exposed and sections of pre-cast concrete box culverting put in place in front of the old bridge portal. Six sections were placed here in the first half of December.
May 12th 2000: The space around the box culvert was filled with hard core and new roadway constructed across the top. Concrete walls to retain the road embankment have been built and continued upwards to form parapets. The bare surfaces have been clad with stone. The "keystone" above the bridge entrance bears the lettering "2000 AD" . The tarmac surfac of the new roadway has been laid. The traffic has been transferred to this new roadway and work is underway on the other half of the bridge. Decorative railings will run alongside the ramp down to the towpath.
The old and the new: The view inside the new box culvert western section of Mottram Road bridge looking towards the portal of the original bridge. As can be seen, this was only the width of Lock 7W, which was immediately behind it, and had no towpath. Also visible is the pipe which maintained water flow when the canal was filled in. Below that can be seen the top of the main sewer running from right to left below the floor level. (April 20th 2000)
June 8th 2000: When the western half of the new bridge was complete, the roadway was diverted across it. The original bridge tunnel was then dug out and box culvert sections lowered into place. The first two box culvert sections had been lowered in this picture, while five more sections were waiting nearby. The task of placing these units in position was made more difficult by having to work around the trunk telephone cables crossing the working area.
A new lock tail was being built for Lock 7W, seen in the background.
June 8th 2000: The area of the original bridge, looking west towards the first part of the new bridge, showing the main sewer pipe which provides an addition obstacle to be worked round. The sewer pipe is being supported while the area underneath it is excavated. Concrete will be laid below. The pipe is slightly higher than the base of the canal through the bridge, so instead of using a pre-cast section, that part of the bridge will have to be cast in situ.
Next page: Mottram Road Bridge - page 2
My thanks to Tameside Council for providing access to take some of these photographs.