The works have involved repairing the bridge arch which was cracked and replacing missing bricks and stonework which had become badly weathered.
The project has also involved repairing the bridge abutments, the bottom section of the bridge arch, which over time had been hit by boats causing damage to the stonework. We have now installed wooden fenders to prevent boats hitting the bridge in the future. In order to carry out these repairs our staff had to drain the canal immediately under the bridge, installing temporary dams at either side to hold the water back.
The bridge is a popular bat roost and so the works had to be carried out sensitively and under the guidance of Natural England. An important element of the project has been protecting the known roosting spots within the crevices of the bridge.
The works progressed ahead of schedule so we were able to inform Warwickshire County Council that the bridge could be opened 11 days early.
Jon Pritchett, project manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “It's fantastic news that we're able to reopen the road earlier than originally planned and I'm sure will be a big relief to local people.
“We're really grateful for the patience and understanding that everyone has shown during this project. We appreciate there will have been some disruption but the bridge is both an important part of the area's history and carries a busy road so it was really vital that we got in there and carried out these works.
“It's a great example of the Trust's day-to-day work caring for and improving the nation's historic waterways and the bridge is now looking a lot healthier and will be better protected for years to come.”