These pages show how, after many years, the archway of Melbourne Street bridge has re-appeared.
Looking along the in-filled line of the canal towards Melbourne Street from Armentieres Square before work began.
The in-fill has been excavated down to towpath level. The bricked-up gap in the parapet shows where the footpath had led through to Armentieres Square. The arch of the bridge, which was bricked-up before the ground alongside was in-filled, sees daylight for the first time in many years.
The canal channel has been excavated, revealing the original wash walls and towpath.
A new concrete channel is being built that will conceal the original wash walls. The darkness of the stonework surrounding the arch is due to the fact that it has been covered up for many years. At the time when it was covered, all of the stonework was black with soot and pollution from local mills. The stonework which remained above ground was later cleaned and the atmosphere is now much cleaner.
Another view of the concrete channel being constructed through the bridge. This has caused some controversy as there were suggestions that the original wash walls should have been used, as they seem to have survived in fairly good condition. Engineers argued that it would have been difficult to ensure that the original stonework did not leak.
The new towpath has been levelled and the old wash walls buried again.
Looking from the new Armentieres Square bridge to Melbourne Street and Back Melbourne Street bridges. The parapet of Melbourne Street bridge has been taken down to be re-built.
Looking along the completed waterway from Armentieres Square bridge to Melbourne Street and Back Melbourne Street bridges.
Next page: Melbourne Street Bridge - page 2
My thanks to Tameside Council for providing access to take some of these photographs.