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£2 million Canal bridge restoration work to begin early August

The canal and river trust are starting an 11-month £2 million project to rebuild the historic Grade II Listed Hazelhurst Bridge on the mainline of the Caldon Canal, near Endon in Staffordshire, in August.

The £2 million project to rebuild the bridge is due to begin in early August, and will take approximately 11 months.

Ian Bogges, project manager, explains:

“Unfortunately Hazelhurst Bridge was irreparably damaged in March 2020, following the dewatering of the canal upstream whilst we were repairing Hazelhurst Bottom Lock.  The bridge had to be demolished for safety reasons.

“Hazelhurst Bridge provides vehicle and pedestrian access across the Caldon Canal for farmers, residents and liveaboard boaters. It also provides access for the Trust for maintenance work.

“The Trust is now planning to rebuild the bridge and we have applied for Listed Building Consent. The new bridge’s appearance would be in the spirit of the former structure, matching its former location, form, scale, and character, including using many of the original stone masonry copings.”

Work is planned to start in early August, and completed in July 2023.

The canal will be closed from Monday 5 September 2022 to Friday 24 March 2023. The closed section of the navigation will run from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazelhurst Junction), running south east to Cheddleton Lock.

Throughout the works, boaters navigating the Caldon Canal from its junction with the Trent & Mersey Canal at Stoke on Trent this autumn will be able to cruise to the furthest winding hole on the Leek Branch at Leek Fields, covering a distance of 11 miles, passing through nine locks and taking around seven hours.

The towpath in the vicinity of the works will be closed from early August 2022 to July 2023. The closed section of towpath will run from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazelhurst Junction), running south east to Hazelhurst Aqueduct. Towpath diversion signs will be in place.

The Public Right of way on the access pathway toward the bridge from Leek Old Road will also be closed for the duration of the works, as will the pedestrian walkway along the disused Churnet Valley Rail track in the vicinity of the works. Footpath diversion signs will be in place.

Following an agreement with the local landowner, a new temporary car park area will be created for the moorers at Hazelhurst, and a temporary pedestrian bridge has been constructed across the canal to maintain access.


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