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OPENING UP THE RIVER MERSEY IN STOCKPORT

Stockport Council has embarked on a major project to uncover the historical Lancashire Bridge over the River Mersey, which has been concealed for nearly 80 years.

The opportunity to expose the hidden bridge arose when the Council identified some essential rehabilitation work to the eastern section of the bridge where a reinforced concrete portal structure is being partially removed. Rather than removing and replacing the reinforced concrete beams and deck, which would be a traditional approach, the Council has instead created a protected opening to allow people to enjoy a view of this impressive structure along with the River Mersey near its start.

Stockport Council is a key member of the Upper Mersey Catchment Partnership which is campaigning to make the River Mersey a more visible part of Stockport. The confluence of the Rivers Tame and Goyt in Stockport Town Centre is where the River Mersey begins. The Upper Mersey Catchment Partnership is supportive of the project which will enable people to see more of this vital river.

The original arch of the bridge was built in 1891 and is situated underneath the junction of Bridge Street and Warren Street in Stockport Town Centre, close to the start of the River Mersey.

Work started in January 2014, the bridge removal is now complete and the River Mersey can be viewed. A spokesperson for Stockport Council said they were pleased that the project “excites [people] and shows that value for money and environmental improvement can go hand in hand”.

The project has been largely funded through the Department of Transport Local Pinch Point Fund. For further details of the project and a view of detailed plans, see the Stockport Council website http://www.stockport.gov.uk/2013/3006/local-traffic_schemes/lancs_bridge_info.

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