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HomeOur projectsRevealing the Roch

Revealing the Roch

The project created another historical attraction which encourages visitors to the area. The works revealed an 800 year old medieval bridge that was covered in the Victorian period and has not been seen in over a century. The works involved uncovering two sections of the river in Rochdale and the restoration of a 14th century masonry bridge, to reduce flood risk and provide a new public space around the conservation area.

Revealing the bridge involved: opening up 100m of culverts on the Butts, South Parade and Newgate Roundabout; the naturalisation of the river bed; works to the river walls; public realm improvements, highway realignment works and restoring the Rochdale bridges.

The challenges with this project were mainly concerning its location. The project was taking place in the town centre and was therefore constantly surrounded by pedestrians and vehicles. However, through working with local businesses and providing information in various ways, VBA were able to continue to encourage the public’s interest in the project and their town’s history.

This project consists of the following works:
•Removing the existing roundabout and realigning of the existing highway to suit.
•Demolishing existing structures to open up approximately 100m of culverted river on the Butts and the Esplanade.
•Demolishing any existing concrete deck slabs, columns etc. within the river invert.
•Undertaking repairs to the existing river walls and abutments to either side of the culvert.
•Installing CFA piles at the rear of the existing river walls and abutments, to provide additional support and strength.
•Constructing ground beams and edge finishes to the top of the existing river walls

Overall, this project will encourage more people to visit Rochdale and learn about its historical background. This, in turn will provide local stake-holders with more customers.

Due to our environmental works, the wildlife will continue to thrive both within and along the banks of the river and we may see the return of the fresh water oysters that used to live here.

  • Awards:
  • RTPI Award
  • Considerate Constructors Silver Award
  • North West Regional Construction Awards –
    Heritage and Manchester Sub-Regional Project of the Year
  • Green Apple Award for Built Environment and Architectural Heritage
  • RTPI Award
  • Regional Construction Excellence Award
  • National Construction Excellence Award



Facts and figures

  • Client:
    Environment Agency
  • Value:
  • Start date:
    March 2015
  • Completion date:
    June 2016
  • Project categories
    Flood risk management