Re-Opening of Riversdale Bridge » River Weaver Navigation Society

The Former Riversdale Swing Bridge

The 2010 Riversdale Bridge

The Weaver is only navigable from Winsford Bridge to its confluence with the Ship Canal

Re-Opening of Riversdale Bridge
3rd December 2010

The re-opening of Riversdale Bridge on 3rd. December 2010, even after interminable delays, is a source of great satisfaction to our Society.

The original swing bridge was built on the instructions of the Weaver Trustees, at Navigation Yard, in Northwich, over a period of approximately six weeks in 1888, rebuilt in c.1930, and obviously had deteriorated to such an extent that it was overdue for extensive renovation when it was closed in 2004. It was heavily used as a short-cut through the town.

The new bridge is slightly wider than the one it replaces, enabling wheelchairs and bicycles to pass on the bridge. The new swing bridge is also electrically operated, actuated by a plug-in controller, whereas its predecessor was operated by hand

The Chairman of the River Weaver Navigation Society, John Tackley, said, “We are delighted that this bridge is finally restored, Our members battled long and hard to help raise funds, by actively supporting and campaigning for a grant from Sustrans to assist with its restoration. In this we were helped by votes collected from the local populace. We also offered technical advice to the bridge consultants, which was taken on board.

Apart from the immediate benefits of better pedestrian access to Sir John Deane’s College and other local properties, with a consequent reduction in road traffic, our Society has been instrumental in achieving better access to the river backwater, which will be of undoubted future benefit to the town.

The new bridge offers an increased navigational headroom of approximately 7’-00”, which will enable canal craft to pass beneath it without opening the swinging span. This means that an extra quarter of a mile of waterway will be readily accessible for visitors to use as town centre moorings and give craft, including future trip boats, access to both Weaver Hall Museum and the Bowling Green public house. Each of these properties has garden access to this newly accessible backwater. This will undoubtedly improve Northwich’s facilities as a tourist attraction. 

It is pleasing to record that a third sector organisation like ours, working in conjunction with Cheshire West and Chester Council and British Waterways, can actually help achieve real long term benefits for Northwich, despite the financial constraints that make the revitalisation of the town, so long awaited, currently so difficult.”

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