23 March 2012

The Bridge

Runcorn Bridge crosses the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey, and links Runcorn and Widnes. Opened in 1961, it replaced the Widnes-Runcorn Transporter Bridge, of which latter bridge type only those in Newport and Middlesbrough remain in use. 

It has been known as the Runcorn-Widnes Bridge, the Runcorn Bridge, and, since widening work was completed in 1977, Silver Jubilee Bridge. Locally it is known, and signed, simply as The Bridge.

Grade II listed, the bridge is of the through arch type, with a main arch span of 1,082 feet. The through arch ties the side spans of 250 feet each into the main span, to enable the structure to cope with adverse vibration set up by the adjacent railway bridge.

The bridge provides for 80 feet of headroom for the ship canal, and when first completed had the third longest steel-built arch span in the world. Its 5,900 tons of steel, held together with 720,000 rivets, requires a regular re-coat of 6,000 gallons of minty green paint.

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