Revamp of ancient bridge


St Vincent's Housing Association (SVHA), along with the Impact Partnership, have revitalised the ancient Oakenrod Bridge in Sparth, Rochdale.
The bridge, which dates back to medieval times, when Oakenrod was the only link to the Pennines up to the introduction of turnpike roads in 1735, had fallen into structural disrepair and was being used as a cut through by motorbikes, causing problems for local people.
The old bridge was a packhorse type bridge with very low parapets which had been raised using substandard and inappropriate metal railings.
With funding from the ERDF, St Vincent's consulted with the residents of Sparth, who identified the Bridge as an important part of their heritage, and a well used link across the river Roch. Oakenrod Bridge links the town of Rochdale to Bury Road and the West Pennines
The improvement works included installing barriers which restrict access onto the bridge, making it impossible for motorbikes to ride over it, and designs for the refurbishment of the bridge. The Impact Partnership commissioned the refurbishment work which has resulted in providing new stone parapets and relaying the original cobble stones and strengthening the bridge.
The new stone parapets built using locally sourced stone, are tall enough to allow the bridge to be used by cyclists in the future.
The newly refurbished bridge is being dedicated to the memory of a Sparth resident, Eileen Sinclair, who campaigned tirelessly for the bridge to be restored, rather than see it crumble into the river.
Paul Rowan MP officially opened the bridge on September 19 2008 where consultation was held with residents on a design for a commemorative plaque.

Link to Rochdale online


Taken from Rochdale online