The Elland Bridge, which was damaged during the 2015 Boxing Day floods in West Yorkshire, is being rebuilt with original features. The canal through Elland has now reopened.

24 August

Skilled craftsmen are now working on stone recovered from the originally Elland Bridge, as part of the rebuilding project.

The Grade II listed bridge was severely damaged during the 2015 Boxing Day floods in Elland, West Yorkshire.

Its important features were carefully removed and catalogued back in April so they could  be re-used in the replacement structure.

Now, the stone is being cut and marked, ready for installation on the new bridge.

“The good news is that enough good quality stone has been recovered meaning that no new stone will be needed,” explained Stephen Hardy from the Canal and River Trust.

“This means the bridge will look familiar to local people,” he added.

Engineers have recently been working on the reinforced supporting walls.

Over the coming months, concrete arches will be built and craned into position inside the bridge.

This will give the structure much greater strength.

The bridge will also contain special ducting that will hold the utility pipes and cables which had previously been carried on the exterior of the bridge.

Last month, the Calder & Hebble Navigation at Elland reopened.

Elland Bridge July 2016

Credit: Mike Poloway

The canal had been closed to boats since floodwaters washed out the foundations of Elland Bridge, which crosses over it.

The reopening reinstated an important link for boaters between the Rochdale Canal and the rest of the waterway network.

The work remains on course to be completed by the end of the year.


29 June

Elland Bridge

The laying of the foundations. Credit: Canal and River Trust

Engineers are reaching an important milestone in the rebuilding of Elland Bridge as they lay the foundations for the new canal bridge.

This week, contractors are laying the concrete that will form the foundations of the new bridge.

It comes after the original Grade II listed bridge, built in 1811, was carefully dismantled after floodwaters washed out its foundations and undermined the road above.

Watch the video of the bridge being dismantled below

The bridge has been taken apart bit by bit with the stone being catalogued and stored so that it can be reused on the replacement bridge.

In recent weeks, engineers have put temporary dams either side of the bridge to create a dry working area and have installed metal sheet piling which will strengthen the new foundations.

Once the concrete has been poured and the foundations completed, the canal running under the bridge can be reopened to boats.

This is expected to happen on 4 July.

The project manager for the Canal & River Trust, Graham Ramsden, said: “Works are going really well at Elland Bridge and the current works are a symbolic moment; laying the foundations from which the new bridge will start to take shape.”

He continued: “In a few weeks we’ll be able to reopen the canal to boats which will help to get life back to normal on our waterways. It will reinstate an important link for boaters and give a real boost to local businesses and hire boat bases.”

In parallel with the works at Elland, the Canal & River Trust has also been working to rebuild nearby Crowther Bridge.

The bridge has been demolished with the stone being taken away to be reused on the replacement.

The government has pledged up to £5 million for the replacement of the two bridges.

Both should be in use again by the end of the year.

A temporary footbridge next to Elland Bridge, which was constructed in January, will remain in place throughout the works.

25 April

Engineers have now started taking down the Grade II listed Elland Bridge in Elland, West Yorkshire after it was severely damaged during the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

The bridge as we know it now was built in around 1811. Its important features are being carefully removed and catalogued so that they can be re-used in the replacement structure.

These include the huge stone copings on the top of the bridge, the dressed stones over the arches and the remains of cast iron rope rollers. These rollers allowed boat tow ropes to run smoothly through the bridge back in the days when freight barges were pulled by horse.

The Canal & River Trust, which is being consulted on the project, says the bridge has been designed to look similar to the existing one, but with a strengthened concrete arch inside it.

The result will be a stronger bridge, built to modern standards whilst still reflecting the history of the canal.

The trust’s heritage advisor, Judy Jones, said: “It’s sad to see the bridge being taken down but this is an important step in reinstating the link across the canal for local people.”

“Research has shown that the bridge was built just over 200 years ago as an extension to the river bridge and so has great historical interest. With this in mind it’s not just a case of going in with a wrecking ball, we’re taking a careful approach to preserve as many of the important features as possible so that they can be put in place on the new bridge,” she stressed.

“As a result the new bridge should look familiar to local people, retaining the scale of the existing bridge and boasting some of the historical features,” concluded Jones.

Damaged Elland Bridge

The Elland Bridge was severely damaged in the 2015 Boxing Day floods


Once the bridge has been taken down then works to build new foundations will begin.

This should be finished around the end of June. This section of the canal will then reopen to boaters.

Up to £5 million has been pledged by the government for the replacement of the bridge.

The Canals & Rivers Trust is also providing expertise to replace the nearby Crowther Bridge, which is owned by Calderdale Council and was also severely damaged by the 2015 floodwaters.

It’s anticipated that both bridges will be built and in use before the end of the year.

A temporary footbridge next to Elland Bridge, which was constructed in January, will remain in place throughout the works.