Interesting Features near bridge 17A
- The towpath here is in rural and is not metalled, although it is stony.
- Being rural, both banks of the canal, and the back of the towpath, support a variety of wildlife habitats including water, marginal, grass and hedgerow.
- Although you cannot access the towpath from bridge 17A, there is a footpath on the offside from here to bridge 19. However, this is much higher than the towpath.
- The edge of the canal is paved between here and bridge 18, suggesting that there was some kind of loading/offloading here in the past. This stretch is central to 18th century Lydiate, so this was probably the “Lydiate” packet stop, for flyboats between Liverpool and Wigan.
- The canal turns into Lydiate Hill between bridges 17 and 17A. While it is following the contour of the hill at bridge 17, by the time it reaches bridge 17A, it is in a cutting.
- The design of the bridge is interesting. Although the supports for the bridge deck are of local sandstone (possible from Melling Rock), the pads on which the bridge deck sits are not, suggesting that the local sandstone is not strong enough for the point loads of the beams. The bridge deck itself is iron or steel. The beams holding the deck up are called “I” beams, because they are shaped like that letter. The thin vertical section provides nearly all the strength.