The bridge, one of three boater-operated bridges between Marple and New Mills, has sustained damage and is inoperable for safety reasons. It has been taken out of action and the canal closed to navigation at this point. The towpath remains open.
Canal and River Trust engineers are assessing the damage and a plan for repair will be drawn up. An update will be issued later.
Update Tuesday 13th January:
The bridge appears to have been hit by an oversized vehicle, damaging the deck and superstructure. The Canal and River Trust need to make some modifications to the bridge to allow navigation to restart, and so that the bridge can be operated by CRT staff.
It is planned to allow passages but only under Trust supervision, hopefully by Friday 16th Jan.
Update Thursday 15th January:
Canal and River Trust are now able to reopen the bridge on a restricted basis, from 10 am to 12 noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until further notice, with CRT staff operating the bridge.
Part of the operation on each occasion will include a period of testing and monitoring before boats pass through and CRT ask for boaters' patience while this takes place.
Update Friday 16th January:
Canal and River Trust have had to close the bridge to navigation again today following an inspection. A more detailed assessment and investigation is required. The bridge is closed again until further notice.
Update Wednesday 21st January:
Canal and River Trust have decided that their only option is to remove the bridge deck from across the canal and partially demolish the structure so that the canal can be reopened.
Follow this link for more details.
Wood End Lift Bridge, Upper Peak Forest Canal. Photo: T.N.C.