Manchester Ship Canal (River Irwell Upper Reach)
The Manchester Ship Canal (River Irwell Upper Reach) is a commercial waterway and is part of the Manchester Ship Canal. It runs for 1 mile and 3¼ furlongs from Hunts Bank (which is a dead end) to Woden Street Footbridge (where it joins the Manchester Ship Canal (Main Line)).
The maximum dimensions for a boat to be able to travel on the waterway are 600 feet long and 65 feet wide. The maximum headroom is not known. The maximum draught is not known.
It has junctions with the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal (Main Line) at Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal - River Irwell Junction and with the Bridgewater Canal (Hulme Locks Branch) at River Irwell - Hulme Locks Branch Junction.
This waterway is excluded by default from route planning with the following explanation: "very large commercial waterway, paperwork necessary"
Relevant publications — Waterway Maps:
- Waterway Routes 01M - England and Wales Map
- Waterway Routes 23M - Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey Map (Downloadable)
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|Victoria Railway Station Bridge||½ furlongs||0 locks|
|Salford Bridge (Salford)
also known as Chapel Street bridge
|1 furlong||0 locks|
|Cathedral Approach Bridge||1½ furlongs||0 locks|
|Victoria Bridge (Salford)||1¾ furlongs||0 locks|
|Blackfriars Bridge||2¾ furlongs||0 locks|
|Chapel Wharf Footbridge||4 furlongs||0 locks|
|New Bailey Street Bridge||4¾ furlongs||0 locks|
|New Quay Street - Irwell Street Bridge||5¾ furlongs||0 locks|
|Manchester & Salford Junction Canal - River Irwell Junction
Junction of the River Irwell and the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal
|6¾ furlongs||0 locks|
|Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal - River Irwell Junction||7½ furlongs||0 locks|
|Hampson Street Bridge||7½ furlongs||0 locks|
|Trinity Way Railway Bridge
Three bridges, one disused
|7¾ furlongs||0 locks|
|Trinity Way Bridge||1 mile and ¼ furlongs||0 locks|
|Trinity Way Arm||1 mile and ¾ furlongs||0 locks|
|Regent Road Bridge||1 mile and 1½ furlongs||0 locks|
|River Irwell - Hulme Locks Branch Junction
Junction with the River Irwell and the Hulme Locks Branch of the Bridgewater Canal
|1 mile and 2½ furlongs||0 locks|
|Woden Street Footbridge
Junction of Manchester Ship Canal and River Irwell Upper Reach
|1 mile and 3¼ furlongs||0 locks|
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Wikipedia has a page about Manchester Ship Canal
The Manchester Ship Canal is a 36-mile-long (58 km) inland waterway in the North West of England linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. Starting at the Mersey Estuary near Liverpool, it generally follows the original routes of the rivers Mersey and Irwell through the historic counties of Cheshire and Lancashire. Several sets of locks lift vessels about 60 feet (18 m) up to Manchester, where the canal's terminus was built. Major landmarks along its route include the Barton Swing Aqueduct, the only swing aqueduct in the world, and Trafford Park, the world's first planned industrial estate and still the largest in Europe.
The rivers Mersey and Irwell were first made navigable in the early 18th century. Goods were also transported on the Runcorn extension of the Bridgewater Canal (from 1776) and the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (from 1830), but by the late 19th century the Mersey and Irwell Navigation had fallen into disrepair and was often unusable. In addition, Manchester's business community viewed the charges imposed by Liverpool's docks and the railway companies as excessive. A ship canal was therefore proposed as a way of giving ocean-going vessels direct access to Manchester. The region was suffering from the effects of the Long Depression, and for the canal's proponents, who argued that the scheme would boost competition and create jobs, the idea of a ship canal made sound economic sense. They initiated a public campaign to enlist support for the scheme, which was first presented to Parliament as a bill in 1882. Faced with stiff opposition from Liverpool, the canal's supporters were unable to gain the necessary Act of Parliament to allow the scheme to go ahead until 1885.
Construction began in 1887; it took six years and cost £15 million (equivalent to about £1.65 billion in 2011). When the ship canal opened in January 1894 it was the largest river navigation canal in the world, and enabled the newly created Port of Manchester to become Britain's third busiest port despite the city being about 40 miles (64 km) inland. Changes to shipping methods and the growth of containerisation during the 1970s and '80s meant that many ships were now too big to use the canal and traffic declined, resulting in the closure of the terminal docks at Salford. Although able to accommodate a range of vessels from coastal ships to inter-continental cargo liners, the canal is not large enough for most modern vessels. By 2011 traffic had decreased from its peak in 1958 of 18 million long tons (20 million short tons) of freight each year to about 7 million long tons (7.8 million short tons). The canal is now privately owned by Peel Ports, whose plans include redevelopment, expansion, and an increase in shipping from 8,000 containers a year to 100,000 by 2030, as part of their Atlantic Gateway project.