The Bascule Bridge, Ashton Canal, Manchester, UK

Michael Thorogood of M G Bennett, Manufactured by Mandall Engineering Ltd.
Date Built
Beside the Ashton Canal in Ancoats
New Islington sits between the Rochdale and Ashton Canals in Manchester.  The redevelopment of this area calls for the construction of a new canal that will link the two existing canals to create a water park around which innovative residential developments will be located.  The entrance to this new canal will be via the bascule bridge that sits in waiting beside the Ashton Canal adjacent to the Chips building.

A bascule bridge is a lift bridge that uses a counterweight to keeps the deck of the bridge in balance as it rises and fall.  The system allows for quick opening and closing and requires very little energy to operate.  The Eadon Consulting website describes how this bridge works, "The bridge deck is attached by tie bars to a pivoting frame which sits on top of a pair of A frames. The deck is lifted using hydraulic motors, which drive a pair of pinion gears on curved, toothed racks attached to the pivoting frame. The lifting mechanism is assisted by a concrete filled counterweight tube.  The bascule bridge is operated by canal users from a pedestal using a standard British Waterways Watermate Key. To prevent pedestrian access during bridge operation gates are installed at each end of the bridge, which are interlocked with the bridge operation."


Below are some earlier images of the bridge.