Canal bridge arches installed

Progress on the restoration of the Montgomery Canal took another step forward today (8 August 2023) as six concrete panels were installed to create the arch of the new Schoolhouse Bridge between Pant and Crickheath.

The concrete panels came precast from Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland and were lifted by crane into position. As they were lifted they formed the necessary arch shape to let boats travel underneath, once the canal restoration reaches that point.

Each of the six concrete panels were craned in to create the bridge.

Rebuilding work on the bridge, on Long Lane, started in April of 2023 and a number of people watched the arches being installed. The bridge was blocked many years ago after the canal was abandoned and is the main obstruction on the derelict section to the Welsh border at Llanymynech. To tackle the bridge, local waterway charities came together to organise its reconstruction.

As well as running a series of local and national fund-raising appeals which have raised over £1 million, experienced volunteers prepared the bridge design, obtained all the technical approvals, and negotiated with the Canal & River Trust, Shropshire Council and adjoining landowners for the formal agreements needed for the work.

Work which is needed to complete the bridge includes facing the sides in brickwork and reinstating the roadway, which should be complete by early October.

Restoration of the Montgomery Canal took another step forward with the installation of the arches.

Schoolhouse Bridge is just one of a number of projects currently taking place on the Montgomery Canal. At Crickheath, Shropshire Union Canal Society volunteers are restoring the stone walls in the wharf and are testing how that section can be brought back into water, while in Wales, Canal & River Trust are working on the canal around Carreghofa, where two new bridges are planned.

Locals interested in supporting the work from Crickheath Wharf to Schoolhouse Bridge financially are being asked to make their donation online here. All donations gratefully received.

Posted in Crickheath, Llanymynech, Montgomery Canal.