Thanks to donations from members of the public, three of Birmingham’s well recognised cast iron canal bridges are to receive a face lift as part of a £130,000 eight week repair and maintenance project.
We are planning to restore Icknield Square Junction Bridge, Rotton Park Junction Bridge, and Lea Bridge, all of which are located on the canal in Smethwick.
Over the years these characteristic black and white bridges, which were originally designed by Aaron Manby at Horseley Iron Works in Tipton and date back to the mid-19th Century, have suffered from wear and tear and now need some major repairs. These bridges with their ‘webs of iron’ and gothic style designs are among the most iconic symbols of the waterways and a key feature of the canals in the West Midlands.
Each of the bridges will have the old paintwork removed, areas of rust and damage carefully repaired and then several coats of specialist paint applied. The brick and sandstone walls supporting the bridges will also be repaired and graffiti, which has been sprayed along the bridge sides and on the walls, will also be removed.
Lawrence Tall, from Canal & River Trust, said: “These black and white bridges are iconic features of the waterways across Birmingham and the Black Country and, when you see one, you know you’re in the West Midlands.
“Some of the bridges are showing their age so we need to carry out some major repairs, replace some brickwork and generally give them some loving care and attention to ensure people will be able to enjoy them for many years to come.”