Britannia Bridge No 53
Navigational note for Wigan Locks:Water conservation/anti vandal key is required for these locks
There is a bridge here which takes a major road over the canal.
|Wigan Junction||2½ furlongs|
|Railway Bridge No 53D Pipe Bridge||1½ furlongs|
|Railway Bridge No 53D||1¼ furlongs|
|Wigan Lock 21 No 85||1 furlong|
|Railway Bridge No 53B||½ furlongs|
|Britannia Bridge No 53|
|Wigan Lock 20 No 84||a few yards|
|Site of Ince Hall Colliery Dock||¼ furlongs|
|Site of Railway Bridge No 53A||¾ furlongs|
|Wigan Lock 19 Footbridge||1 furlong|
|Wigan Lock 19 No 83||1¼ furlongs|
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Nearest water pointOn this waterway in the direction of Wigan Junction
Nearest rubbish disposalOn this waterway in the direction of Wigan Junction
Nearest chemical toilet disposalOn this waterway in the direction of Wigan Junction On this waterway in the direction of Leeds Bridge
Nearest place to turnOn this waterway in the direction of Wigan Junction
Nearest self-operated pump-out
Nearest boatyard pump-out
Wikipedia has a page about Britannia Bridge
Britannia Bridge (Welsh: Pont Britannia) is a bridge across the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales. It was originally designed and built by the noted railway engineer Robert Stephenson as a tubular bridge of wrought iron rectangular box-section spans for carrying rail traffic. Its importance was to connect to the port of Holyhead and facilitate a sea link to Dublin, Ireland; it also formed a critical link of the Chester and Holyhead Railway's route, enabling trains to directly travel between London and the port of Holyhead. During March 1966, the Britannia Bridge received Grade II listed status.
Decades prior to the building of the Britannia Bridge, the Menai Suspension Bridge had been completed, but this structure carried a road rather than track; there was no rail connection to Anglesey prior to its construction. After many years of deliberation and proposals, on 30 June 1845, a Parliamentary Bill covering the construction of the Britannia Bridge received royal assent. At the Admiralty's insistence, the bridge elements were required to be relatively high in order to permit the passage of a fully rigged man-of-war. In order to meet the diverse requirements, Stephenson, the project's chief engineer, performed in-depth studies on the concept of tubular bridges. For the detailed design of the structure's girders, Stephenson gained the assistance of distinguished engineer William Fairbairn. On 10 April 1846, the foundation stone for the Britannia Bridge was laid. The construction method used for the riveted wrought iron tubes was derived from contemporary shipbuilding practices; the same technique as used for the Britannia Bridge was also used on the smaller Conwy Railway Bridge. On 5 March 1850, Stephenson himself fitted the last rivet of the structure, marking the bridge's official completion.
Following a disastrous fire in May 1970, the Britannia Bridge suffered extensive damage. Following investigation, it was determined that the tubes had taken extensive damage and were not realistically repairable. Instead, it was decided to rebuild the structure in a quite different configuration, reusing the piers while employing new arches to support not one but two decks, as the new Britannia Bridge was to function as a combined road-and-rail bridge. The rebuild process was performed in phases; thus, it was initially reopened in 1972 as a single-tier steel truss arch bridge, carrying only rail traffic. Over the next eight years, more of the structure was replaced, allowing for more trains to be run and a second tier to be completed. During 1980, the second tier was opened to accommodate road traffic. The Britannia Bridge was subject to a £4 million four-month in-depth maintenance programme during 2011. Since the 1990s, there has been talk of increasing road capacity over the Menai Strait, either by extending the road deck of the existing bridge or via the construction of a third bridge.
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