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Selby Canal Swing Bridge
Selby Canal, Selby, West Yorkshire, UK
associated engineer
William Jessop
Husband & Co
date  1778, 1977
era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SE619320
ICE reference number  HEW 785
Selby Canal Swing Bridge is one of three extant swing bridges within an 800m radius. This one was originally constructed entirely of wood but nowadays has a steel superstructure. It carries Denison Road across Selby Canal, and remains in use.
The Selby Canal is an 8.7km short cut for water-borne traffic from the River Aire at Haddesley to the River Ouse at Selby. It was built by the Aire & Calder Navigation Company as part of their waterway system, under the direction of the company’s engineer William Jessop (1745-1814), and opened on 29th April 1778.
Jessop’s bridge had a timber superstructure 12.2m long and 2.7m wide, with masonry retaining wall abutments. The span was swung open by two iron windlasses.
The superstructure was replaced in 1977 by a composite deck of longitudinal steel beams topped by transverse timber beams. The single carriageway road is surfaced with five-ply decking and an anti-skid coating. The cost was about £45,000. The original masonry abutments have been retained, though the swing span now operates electrically.
The bridge was subject to a 5 tonne weight restriction when it opened. This has now been reduced to 3 tonnes.
In 1791, Jessop constructed another timber swing bridge — Selby Toll Bridge — over the River Ouse to carry road traffic. In 1970, this was rebuilt in steel and now carries the A19 road. The other swing bridge at Selby is the rail bridge, constructed in 1891 to replace an earlier double bascule bridge.
Some time before 1851, a fourth swing bridge (SE622322) existed at the lock gates between Selby Canal and the River Ouse but it was removed in 1967.
Contractor: James & John Pinkerton
Contractor (1977): Lehane McKenzie Shand Ltd
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH North

Selby Canal Swing Bridge