There are always challenges when carrying out bridge repair works, but when the structure in question is Grade II listed, there will be additional concerns to consider as well.
Prestolee Packhorse Bridge in Stoneclough, which is a listed structure crossing the River Irwell, is set to undergo repair works after the plans were approved this week by local planners.
The Bolton News reported that the repairs will include replacing stonework, and that a process approved by Historic England has been proposed to ensure that the historic structure is preserved.
Currently, the bridge is only used by pedestrians and has no proper surface, which means it can be muddy for those using it. However, as part of the work a tarmac surface is set to be laid on the bridge.
Councillor Sean Hornby told the news provider: “The whole area is magnificent and I would just like to pay tribute to the number of people who are spending a lot of time there.”
The Prestolee Packhorse Bridge dates from the 18th century and has its name because it was once only used by pack horses travelling between Bolton and Manchester. Just next to it is the Prestolee Aqueduct, which although no longer used by boat traffic, was part of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal network.
These structures are important landmarks from the industrial era, and it’s important to preserve them for future generations. Carrying out structural strengthening and repairs is just one way in which local councils can ensure the survival of these historic river crossings.