What Happens When Two Canals Meet?

When roads meet, they form an intersection. Railroads are joined by switches. What happens when two canals meet? Two canal intersections in England employ most unusual solutions, a bridge and an elevator!

The Manchester Ship Canal and the Bridgewater Canal meet at Barton, England. A swing bridge, the first bridge of its kind in the world, carries the Bridgewater Canal over the other canal.

When a ship approaches the intersection in the Bridgewater Canal, the bridge is closed to allow the ship to pass over the Manchester Ship Canal. When a ship approaches in the Manchester Ship Canal, the bridge is swung open to allow it room to pass.

Two other canals meet at Anderton, near Liverpool. But one is 50 feet higher than the other. An elevator lifts barges from the lower canal to the Trent and Mersey Canal above it. This elevator can lift barges weighing up to 100 tons!