New railway bridge keeps multi-million pound Stroudwater Canal restoration on track

A major project to replace a Gloucestershire railway bridge within seven days to allow boats on the Stroudwater Canal to pass underneath it has been completed.

An engineering challenge to install a bridge within seven days underneath a Gloucestershire railway as part of the multi-million pound Stroudwater Canal restoration project has been completed.

A team of 150 from Network Rail and its contractor Alun Griffiths achieved the feat on behalf of Cotswold Canals Connected while the railway was closed between Christmas and New Year.

The new bridge is part the estimated £23 million of ongoing work to re-open four-miles of canal from Saul Junction to Stonehouse, which will also eventually link to the Thames and Severn Canal and is expected to significantly boost tourism and investment in the district.

Doina Cornell, Stroud District Council leader, said: ‘This is more than just an engineering project; our aim is for the canal restoration to act as a catalyst for social, cultural, economic and environmental transformation.’

The local authority believes a fully restored canal would attract more than £75million-worth of private investment within five years of the end of the project, with boaters and visitors spending more than £5 million annually in the Stroud district.

The Ocean Railway Bridge Project took more than two years of planning, including casting the new bridge sections on site, catching and relocating thousands of fish and draining a 230-metre section of the canal.

Chris Mitford-Slade, Cotswold Canals’ connected project director, said: ‘This was the largest and most complex project on this section of the canal and we would like to thank all of those living in the locality for their support, understanding and tolerance.

‘This project, and the canal restoration, would not have been possible without the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, private donations, fundraising and grants.’

The canal towpath either side of the bridge will remain closed until the end of March 2022. An alternative walking and cycling route is signposted.

Cotswold Canals Connected is a partnership of organisations led by Stroud District Council and the Cotswold Canals Trust.

By Andrew Merrell

Follow SoGlos on LinkedIn and sign-up to the weekly SoGlos business newsletter for the very latest Gloucestershire business news stories.

© SoGlos
Wednesday 12 January 2022

More news you might like...

Greg James is DJing at Cheltenham Racecourse to celebrate the 2022 racing season’s finale.

Greg James to play at Cheltenham Racecourse for May Bank Holiday

Greg James will be returning to Cheltenham Racecourse, DJing a huge after party following the Race Night, in April 2022.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said work on the new stadium and Eco Park could start as early as spring 2022.

Work on Ecotricity’s new football stadium and business park development in Gloucestershire could start in spring

Ecotricity has submitted ‘revisited plans’ for its long-awaited Eco Park development, a new football stadium and business park...

A new initiative to save food from being sent to landfill is being pioneered at The King’s School in Gloucester.

The King’s School Gloucester is the first in the country to pioneer a new initiative to save food waste

Environmental enterprise Surplus to Purpose is helping The King’s School in Gloucester save waste food from landfill through...

The Festival Shop Window competition is back in Gloucestershire and it’s time to deck out your building in a delightful racing theme – with a £2,000 top cash prize.

The Festival Shop Window competition launches across Gloucestershire

With a £2,000 cash top prize up for grabs, Cheltenham Racecourse and SoGlos have teamed-up to bring back The Festival Shop...

Cotswold-based The Scenic Supper is now offering creative planning and management of bespoke parties, events and weddings for up to 100 people.

The Scenic Supper is launching a new parties and wedding service

The Scenic Supper has launched parties and wedding management services within its bespoke glasshouses at Todenham Manor Farm...

Don’t miss

Unmissable highlights