Work to refurbish a 250-year-old bridge in Worcestershire to bring it back to its former glory has been completed.
Porters Mill canal bridge, an historic Grade-II structure was originally constructed to cross the Droitwich Barge Canal, which was opened in 1771 to link Droitwich Spa to the River Severn at Hawford.
The restoration works, which included the complete rebuilding of the masonry wing wall and spandrel, the triangle shape between the top of an arch and the wall, were delivered by Worcestershire County Council and their contractor, Ringway Limited.
Councillor Mike Rouse, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways & Transport at Worcestershire County Council, said:
“Porters Mill Bridge provides important vehicle and pedestrian access across the canal for local businesses, farmers, and residents, so it is essential that it is maintained and fit for purpose.
Whilst restoring the bridge, we fully retained the bridge’s appearance and character, including using the original stone masonry. We did need to close the bridge to vehicles and pedestrians and the canal to boaters navigating the canal, to ensure that everyone was kept safe. However, both are now fully open for use. I’d like to thank everybody for their patience during the refurb.”
The Droitwich Barge canal was originally built to carry salt from Droitwich, however with the rise of the railways, the last boat to use the barge canal was in 1916 before it was finally abandoned in 1939.
Following a local campaign to reinstate the canal, it was fully restored and reopened in 2010.