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Bowbridge Bridge — Channel now open

Bowbridge Bridge works near completion

The sequence of photos below reveal the progress of work on Bowbridge Bridge.

Overview

The design & construction of the road bridge work has been carried out by Amey Highways plc. on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.
Amey Highways then sub-contacted Britannia Construction of Cheltenham to carry out the actual work.

1960s blockage

The first photograph shows the blockage installed in the 1960s to support a widened carriageway across the long closed canal.

Work commences

The next picture shows the view as work commenced on removal of the blockage and commencement of reopening of the new carriageway.

Pipes & Lego Bricks

Photograph three features two pipes. The nearest, a grey pipe, is the newly encased gas main.
The second pipe, fixed to the bridge wall, carries sewage. Both pipes had previously been covered by the 1960’s infill.

Another new feature has prompted the casual observer to question Britannia’s team members about ‘the pile of Lego bricks’. Amey Highways contract manager David Goodman agrees with this description and explains the purpose of the installation. “This is a retaining wall to stabilise the batter or slope above the channel. There are 96 interlocked blocks each weighing 750 kilogrammes.

“That makes a total of 72 tonnes! That sort of weight needs a firm foundation which is provided by a concrete slab cast atop a system of 12 micro-piles sunk to a depth of seven metres down to the bedrock. It is a proven speedily assembled system. So… whilst there is no mortar…. They won’t be falling over anytime soon.”

Canal channel cleared

Pictures four & five are views from each side of the bridge and show unimpeded water beneath the bridge once more.
The finishing touches to this job include the installation of safety rails along the bridge wall. Thereafter, the road and pavement surface across the bridge will be renewed.

Boating under Bowbridge Bridge

The final photo was taken on Thursday 15th June. It shows Linda Webster making history! The first boat to pass beneath the bridge probably since the 1930’s. Linda, a member of the Stroud District Council Tuesday & Thursday Volunteers Team, was engaged in checking the channel depth.

Local support

Site manager Rob Dunn of Britannia Construction commented on the friendly comments and questions from local people… “The locals obviously really appreciate the fact that the canal is being restored. We have kept them up to date as we went along.

“One of my colleagues at Britannia has a canal boat. I shall make sure he brings me along here one day.”

More photos

Click here to view the Bowbridge Lock Album by CCT Photographer Mike Gallagher