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September 16 2020

CGC Rail has swung into action at a heritage bridge of huge historic significance.

Winnington Swing Bridge in Northwich, Cheshire is one of the first electrically-operated swing bridges ever seen in the UK.

It is of immense historic value and CGC Rail is making excellent progress on repair works to the 111-year old Grade 2 listed steel structure.

Since work began in June, CGC Rail’s expert workmanship has replaced deteriorating sections to ensure it can continue to operate and extend its life.

The work has included strengthening, painting and refurbishment of the footbridge which is proceeding on schedule.

Zed Khan of CGC Rail said: “We feel very privileged to be undertaking repair work on this remarkable bridge which has been in operation for well over a century.

“It is a much-respected local landmark and vital artery in this part of Cheshire. The work being undertaken will preserve this important structure and equip it for many years of continued service to the community.”

The Canal and River Trust-owned bridge carries the A533 between Winnington and Barnton over the River Weaver and the work has become necessary to avoid longer, more disruptive closures should its condition deteriorate further.

It was constructed in 1908/1909 and replaced an earlier one built in 1901.

Its success was put down to two things – the bridge allowed greater carrying capacity of road loads and an increase in the navigable waterway available. This enabled trade expansion and business growth in the area’s chemical industry.

Historic England – which is tasked with protecting the historic environment of England – said of the bridge: “It has special architectural interest as an example of an early electrically-operated swing bridge. In addition, it is historically significant in the growth of the pottery and chemical industries of Winnington and Northwich.

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “These are vital works and I’d like to thank residents for their patience and support while they are completed.

“The Council has secured a total of £930K funding for this project. This has allowed the scope of the works to be increased to include strengthening and painting. The repairs will mostly be to the underside of the bridge.”