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Stone Central specialises in all areas of stonemasonry and restoration from traditional stonemasonry through to new build and consultancy. Click the links to learn more about each area of our work and please get in touch to speak to one of our experienced team.


George Stephenson’s Bridge, Ordsall Chord

We were approached to carry out work on the magnificent bridge, constructed by George  Stephenson in 1830 which has Grade I listed status. The bridge had been hidden from public view for around 150 years due to the erection of a steel girder bridge alongside it. The steel bridge was removed, revealing the original stone bridge to the public. This work was completed as part of the construction of the Ordsall Chord development in order to preserve the heritage of the site.

The Ordsall Chord is a short railway line in Ordsall, Salford, which links the 3 Manchester stations to Leeds, Newcastle and Middlesborough, with a direct link to Manchester Airport. In order for the project to go ahead, the magnificent River Irwell Railway Bridge had to be restored and preserved as part of the development.


Project Detail

Due to its Grade I status, plans had to be submitted to all relevant agencies before any work could begin. As the client had no survey or drawings, we were commissioned to conduct a 3D laser survey on the bridge; we did this by using lasers to create the imagery required, which we used to help conduct a secondary survey. This allowed the scope of work to be determined so we could submit the planning to both the Salford and Manchester commissioners to be approved. Once approval was granted, we arranged for lab tests to be conducted on different parts and colours of the structure, which helped us to replicate the original stone perfectly.

We faced logistical difficulties on the job as we needed to ensure that there was minimal disruption to the river. In order to do this, we phased the work so that only one arch was closed at a time, allowing work to continue without disrupting traffic below. We also worked on cherry pickers on pontoons below the bridge to obtain access to the more difficult parts. The restoration work that we completed included cleaning off the calcite underneath and replacing the missing stone that had come away over the years. Throughout the project we were asked by the client to provide safe access so that members of the public and guests could observe the craftsmanship that went into the cutting and shaping of the stone.

You can read more about the project here.

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