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Burnley historic bridge to be fixed after vandalism
3:30pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
REPAIRS are finally set to be made to an 18th century bridge in Burnley thanks to a newly-formed riverside trust.
Repeated vandal attacks have wrecked the north side of New Hall Bridge, which spans the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Daneshouse.
But now the Canal and River Trust has unveiled proposals to rebuild the wall where only a temporary fence currently protects walkers and cyclists from a drop into the waters below.
The bridge was built in 1796 to enable farmers to cross the waterway with cattle and carts.
But virtually nothing remains of the bridge’s north wall and trust officials have been left with two options.
Originally the wall only stood around 1.1metres tall but saw an increase in height of around 70 centimetres when the nearby gas works was constructed.
Engineers can either construct a facing wall, to the current height or, using leftover sandstone from the south face and canal, ensure both walls are restored to the 1.1metre level of the late 18th century. The trust prefers the 1.1metre option as it would be more inkeeping with the original heritage of the bridge.
Trust official Audrey Cooper said in a planning statement: “The parapet has suffered extensive damage over a period of time.
“The cause of the damage is thought to be vandalism.
“The bridge is now considered to be a health and safety issue due to the parapet being completely collapsed and therefore in need of urgent repair.”
The trust took over management of the Leeds Liverpool from British Water- ways earlier this year and was involved in Burnley’s successful canal festival at Sandygate.
Several of the canal’s bridges designed by New Hall’s architect, Robert Whitworth, are grade II listed, but the Burnley crossing is not currently protected.
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