Manchester Ship Canal

Lowry and Centenary Bridges

Lowry Footbridge was open by the year 2000 to link the Lowry Centre at Salford Quays with the Imperial War Museum on the opposite side of the Manchester Ship Canal.

Construction started in 1997 and the deck was floated into place, ready for lifting into position, on the 29 January 1999. The bridge deck can be lifted to allow the passage of ships.

Lowry Footbridge, looking towards Manchester, c.2007.

Centenary Bridge is one of only three of its type in Britain and the deck can be lifted 15 metres between two pairs of towers, 30 metres high, to allow the passage of ships. Her Majesty The Queen opened it on the 1 December 1994 as part of the Manchester Ship Canal's centenary celebrations. It was the first low-level opening bridge to be built across the canal since it opened in 1894.

It was built by AMEC Civil Engineering on Centenary Way to link Eccles with Trafford Park. A 500-tonne crane was used to lift the 12 sections of the deck into position, a process that took three days.

Centenary Bridge, looking towards Salford and Manchester, with the deck in the open position.
Centenary Bridge, looking towards Barton-upon-Irwell, with the deck in the closed position.

When the Manchester Ship Canal opened for trade in 1894 there were eight opening bridges of different designs and three high-level bridges have been built since.