Vital bridge works to keep community connected

Caption: Cllr Richard Lewis (sixth from right) and representatives from Leeds City Council, Canal & River Trust, Thornhill Estates and Colas officially open the revamped Parkin Lane Bridge.

A special opening ceremony has marked the completion of vital works to keep a Calverley bridge open.

Between November 2012 and May 2013 engineering work was carried out to the Parkin Lane Bridge.

The 160-year-old Victorian structure was showing signs of serious deterioration, threatening the only access for vehicles to the small community.

Working with the local community, Thornhill Estates, the Canal & River Trust and contractor Colas, an innovative scheme was developed to carry out the strengthening work whilst maintaining access across the bridge.

As well as providing access, the bridge carries the Calverley Cutting over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Calverley Cutting is a track created in 1856 to replace the old packhorse track through Calverley to Apperley Bridge.

Parkin Lane Bridge also forms part of the Calverley Millennium Way, a special walk around the boundary of the village created by local people.

The work involved installing new structural steelwork that supports rather than replaces the existing cast iron bridge. Lifting equipment mounted on pontoons on the canal was used to lift the steelwork into place.

Exposed metal work was repaired and repainted, including the beams and the decorative parapet railings. Repairs to the road surface were also carried out.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy, said:

“At this site we were faced with the real potential of there being no road links into the community. We therefore had no other option than to invest in these vital repair works to ensure that local people stay connected. At the same time, however, we considered an approach that incorporated heritage matters, thus ensuring that the works were in keeping with the local area.

“Close partnership working on this scheme meant that a challenging construction project was successfully delivered and the bridge will continue to service residents for many years to come.”

Edmund Thornhill, Thornhill Estates, said:

“This is a good news story and another example of Leeds and Thornhill working well together. The superbly refurbished and strengthened bridge provides access also to the magnificent woodland providing a beautiful backdrop. It has been a pleasure being involved in the project and seeing it to its conclusion.”


For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk