The council identified safety concerns with the Marnham Fields wooden footbridge in 2020 and took immediate action to close off the bridge to the public. Since then we have been working on plans to replace the bridge with a new steel structure. We had just recently received the required permission from the Canal & Rivers Trust to replace the bridge and work was due to commence at the end of May 2023.
However late on the afternoon of Friday 17 March, the wooden structure failed and the closed-off bridge collapsed. The site was made safe that evening by the Canal & River Trust and the council’s own contractor.
The collapse of the existing bridge and its removal has enabled the council to carry out a detailed inspection of the old bridge abutments and bearing shelves - the positions where the bridge structure fits into and is supported from. The council identified that all four bearing shelves are different, so some changes to the new bridge had to be made to fit into the existing bearing shelves.
The re-design of bearings has now been completed.
The council will commence works to replace the wooden structure with a new steel bridge across the canal at the end of June 2023.
This will facilitate sustainable and active travel by linking Marnham Fields with Smith’s Farm for pedestrians and cyclists, which in turn is a link through to Northala Fields and then onto Rectory Park in Northolt. It will significantly reduce travelling distances and support the council’s ambition to encourage active travel.
Work has taken place to clear the debris from the canal and that work has been completed. The Canal & River Trust were informed and the canal was reopened for navigation yesterday (21 March).
Updated 4 May 2023