Walk Bridge

Key Dimensions

Existing Structure:
Width at water
Width of roadway (incl footpaths)

Depth (to rubble)

Proposed Replacement:
Width at water

Width of roadway



Background Information

Walk bridge was a swing bridge built as part of the works undertaken when the G&S Canal was being built - originally the Stroudwater Canal would have been at a somewhat lower level which means that the first bridge might have been a fixed structure. It was replaced not long after abandonment in 1954 with the current low level concrete structure with brick parapet walls. It is the first obstruction to navigation travelling eastwards from the G&S Canal.

The current structure is very weak; when it was evaluated a number of years ago, it was found that it was bearly able to support its own weight at its outer edges and only 3.5 tonnes in the centre. Bits of concrete have fallen off it into the canal. Since the replacement of this bridge is necessary anyway, one would hope that a substantial contribution towards its replacement would be forthcoming from Gloucestershire County Council.

It is understood that there is a water pipe crossing in the bridge deck.

The reach of the canal between Walk Bridge and the G&S is used for mooring and there is sufficient width to support mooring and navigation.

Replacement Structure

Consideration has been given to re-routing the road to ease the bends and provide a high level fixed structure. In maintenance terms this is attractive, but it involves significant land purchase and the construction of significant embankments within the flood plain.

Replacement by a moving bridge is likely to be more straightforward and a counter balanced lift bridge is likely to be simpler and more robust than a swing bridge of a similar load bearing capability. GCC have agreed in principle for the bridge to carry one way traffic although pavements are likely to be needed. Even so, the width of the road compared with the span of the bridge wouldd make a swing bridge a disproportionately large structure which would obstruct the towpath if pivoted on the north bank (as would probably be the case).

BW commissioned a full design of a lift bridge in about 2003. This solution suggested a cost of £550,000 which seems high and some aspects of it seemed suspect from a maintenance viewpoint.

GCC have indicated a willingness to work with the Cotswold Canals Trust in a similar way to that which proved so successful at Pike Bridge and there is a financial contribution available provided the work is done before the end of the FY 2007/8. However, progress cannot be made without availability of technical input from BW.

Manual operation of a bridge may be worth considering if practical since traffic levels (currently restricted to 3.5 tonnes anyway) are relatively low and alternative routes exist for road users.

It is likely that a full road closure at this point will be possible to allow the works.

Moorings at Walk Bridge Moorings west of Walk Bridge

Walk Bridge from west Walk Bridge from west

Walk Bridge crumbling concrete

 Crumbling concrete of Walk Bridge

Walk Bridge from east Walk Bridge from East

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