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Caldon Canal has re-opened to boats while Hazelhurst Bridge rebuild continues

We've re-opened the Caldon Canal to boats, while the £2 million project to rebuild the Grade II Listed Hazelhurst Bridge on the Caldon Canal near Endon in Staffordshire, continues.

Works being carried out on a bridge with scafolding and people in high vis

The 12-month project, which has been enabled by an award from the Postcode Earth Trust, thanks to funds raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery, is expected to be completed in August 2023.

To facilitate the works, over the winter the canal had been closed to through-navigation from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazelhurst Junction), running south east to Cheddleton Lock, but was re-opened on 6 April 2023.

Restrictions

Ian Bogges, our project manager, explains: “We were able to re-open the Caldon Canal through navigation ahead of Easter and the May bank holiday, but until 19 May, some navigation restrictions are in place. On weekdays, passage beneath Hazelhurst Bridge is available twice a day from 9am to 10am, and from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.

“As the towpath remains closed from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazelhurst Junction), running south east to Hazelhurst Aqueduct until mid-July, for boats travelling west our contractors will facilitate the operations of the adjacent lock so that boaters don't have to get off their boats. Boaters travelling east will be able to operate the lock themselves.

“On weekends and bank holidays, unrestricted passage is available evenings from 5pm and mornings until 7.30am, and boaters can operate the locks from both directions without assistance. The towpath on the main line (through the locks) remains closed from Hazelhurst Junction to Hazelhurst Aqueduct, however boaters will be able to get on and off to operate all locks within this fenced section.”

“There is small restriction in height for boats travelling under Hazelhurst Bridge. A 2.1-metre minimum height is still available, equating to a reduction of around 30cm.

“The Public Right of way on the access pathway towards the bridge from Leek Old Road will also be closed for the duration of the works. Footpath and towpath diversion signs are in place.”

Hazelhurst Bridge is an accommodation bridge that provides access across the Caldon Canal for farmers, residents and liveaboard boaters. It also provides access for us to work on maintenance.

The bridge was irreparably damaged in March 2020 following the draining of the canal upstream for repairs to Hazelhurst Bottom Lock. We are rebuilding the structure, matching its former location, form, scale, and character, including using many of the original stone copings.

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Last Edited: 04 May 2023

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