Construction work will be carried out by our engineering contractor Kier. Work is planned to start on 15 August, and to be completed in August 2023.
Rebuilding the structure
Ian Bogges, our project manager, explains: "Hazelhurst Bridge is an accommodation bridge that provides access across the Caldon Canal for farmers, residents and liveaboard boaters. It also provides access for the Trust for maintenance work.
"Unfortunately Hazelhurst Bridge was irreparably damaged in March 2020 following the dewatering of the canal upstream for repairs to Hazelhurst Bottom Lock.
"The Trust is now planning to rebuild the structure, with the new bridge's appearance in the spirit of the former structure, matching its former location, form, scale, and character, including using many of the original stone copings."
To facilitate the works, the Caldon Canal mainline navigation will be closed from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazelhurst Junction), running south east to Cheddleton Lock, from Monday 5 September 2022 to Friday 24 March 2023. The towpath will be closed from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazelhurst Junction), running south east to Hazelhurst Aqueduct, from 15 August 2022 until August 2023.
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, as will the pedestrian walkway along the disused Churnet Valley Rail track in the vicinity of the works. Footpath and towpath diversion signs will be in place.
Following an agreement with the local landowner, a new temporary car park area will be created for the moorers at Hazelhurst, and a temporary pedestrian bridge has been constructed across the canal to maintain access.
As it is the mainline of the Caldon Canal from Hazelhurst Junction that will be closed to facilitate the works, once the current navigation closure (since 27 July due to water shortages), is lifted, boaters navigating the Caldon Canal from its junction with the Trent & Mersey Canal at Etruria in Stoke on Trent, will still be able to cruise to the furthest winding hole on the Leek Branch at Leek Fields. This covers a distance of 11 miles, passes through nine locks and takes around seven hours.
For more information about the project call Canal & River Trust on 03030 404040 or email [email protected] @CRTWestMidlands