Rakewood Viaduct

You are probably not likely to notice the Rakewood Viaduct. This is because its not something you’ll see, it is something you drive over.


It carries the motorway over Rakewood Valley and Longden End Brook between junctions 21 and 22 at Littleborough in Greater Manchester.

The viaduct is 840 feet long and 140 feet above the valley floor. It was built in 1966 by Reed and Mallik Ltd and opened to motorway traffic in October 1971. It has a sister bridge, The Gathurst Viaduct which carries the M6 Motorway over the Leeds to Liverpool Canal, Manchester to Southport Railway and River Douglas and was constructed prior to the Rakewood Viaduct.

The steelwork deck was subcontracted to Robert Watson Steelwork Ltd of High Street Bolton. William Openshaw of Bolton was the foreman in charge of the steelwork. Eric Baldwin and Mark Baldwin both of Wigan were steel erectors during construction.

Due to the height of the bridge and the surrounding hillside exposure it is often subject to high speed cross winds.

Pennine Way Footbridge

The pedestrian bridge carrying the Pennine Way is one of the most impressive sights on the M62. It is curved downwards with 85-foot (26 m) long cantilevers.

Pennine Way crossing of M62

© Copyright George Tod and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Pennine Way, which was officially opened in 1965, is intersected by one of Britain’s busiest motorways, close to Rishworth Moor.

The Pennine Way footbridge, which spans the M62 is an instantly recognisable landmark for both commuters and walkers alike. This narrow bridge has a span of 320ft and carries Britain’s first long-distance footpath 65ft above the carriageway.

During the design stages for the building of the M62 the Pennine Way had not yet being granted Public Right of Way status and therefore no plans had been considered to erect a footbridge, to allow safe passage across the future trans-Pennine motorway. The original intention was that Pennine Wayfarers would have to follow the A672 underneath the motorway and re-join the footpath further north. However it is said that Ernest Marples, a former Manchester Rambling Club member, and owner of Marples/Ridgeway Civil Engineering Contractors, played an instrumental part in ensuring that the pedestrian bridge was built.

Apparently the original design for the bridge was to span the motorway horizontally. However, some sources say that the Transport Minister, who was in office at the time, was a prolific walker and insisted that a more impressive structure be built. This decision is said to have considerably increased the construction costs. Whatever the original design, the final structure consists of a reinforced concrete three pin arch which has a span of 220ft, complete with side cantilevers. Each cantilever supports pre-stressed concrete approach spans each of which are 85ft long.

Since its original construction this now iconic landmark has provided safe passage, above the swarming traffic, for thousands upon thousands of walkers making their 270 mile pilgrimage along Britain’s best known National Trail.

This information is taken from here: http://saddleworthdiscoverywalks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/the-m62-pennine-way-footbridge.html

There’s a brilliant photo and an interesting tale of how the footbridge came to exist can be found here.

Royton War Memorial, Tandle Hill

As you pass Oldham you should see a monument on the hill in the distance. This is the Royton War Memorial which is at the top of Tandle Hill. It is 8.5m tall.


The memorial is one of the landmarks of the town of Royton and was erected “in memory of the men of Royton who gave their lives for the freedom and honour of their country” during the First World War. It was commissioned by the Royton War Memorial Committee and unveiled on 22 October 1921 by Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby. There are no longer any names on the monument (the plaques were stolen in 1969) as these are now on a new memorial in the town.

The monument stands at the top of the Tandle Hill Country Park. This consists of approximately 110 acres and is a combination of woodland and open grassland. In fine weather conditions, it offers views of Manchester and the Welsh mountains.








Winter Hill Transmitting Station

The Winter Hill Transmitting Station is a broadcasting and telecommunications site on Winter Hill. It is situated at the southern boundary of Chorley and above Bolton. It can easily be seen from the motorway.


It is one of the tallest structures in the UK. The mast is 310 metres tall with a diameter of 2.75 metres. It is 778.1 metres above sea level and is therefore the highest television transmitting antenna in the country.



At Junction 11 of the M62 you’ll see a tall sculpture next to the motorway. This is called ‘Encounter’ and is a symbol of the New Town plan.


The New Town Development Corporation planned to restructure the whole of Warrington. Part of this plan was a proposal to construct a network of “motorways” through the town. They were actually all-purpose A-roads, but were planned to be dual carriageway and grade-separated so would function much like urban motorways. It would have looked very much like Runcorn, another nearby New Town with its own expressway network.

Warrington’s roads never got built. The sections planned to carve through existing development were never even started and the New Town districts frequently only have open space for the roads to be provided in the future. The only one that can really be said to exist is Birchwood Way, the A574.

The sculpture aims to give the New Town development a public identity.

encounter 2




Scammonden Reservoir

Scammonden Reservoir lies between junctions 22 and 23 of the motorway. It is the only structure of its type in Britain where the motorway forms the dam.


Permission for the construction was granted in 1965 where the Deanhead Valley was flooded to form the reservoir. The village of Scammonden was flooded, and many buildings were demolished.


Surveying began in November 1961 and the route of the carriageway was determined in mid 1963. Excavation in the Deanhead Valley commenced the following year and for the dam in 1966. This required the removal of 713,000 cubic metres of peat bog to reach the solid rock base nearly 13 metres below ground level. Material excavated elsewhere on the line of the motorway, clay from cuttings between Lofthouse and Gilderstone, and 3.4 million cubic metres from the Deanhead excavations was used to build the dam’s embankment which is 625 metres in length and 63.1 metres above the original valley floor. The 3.6 million cubic metre embankment is 435 metres wide at its base and 55 metres at road level.

Scammonden Water is 51.8 metres at its deepest point and water is drawn-off through a 2.5 kilometre tunnel driven southwards to supply Huddersfield. The overflow bellmouth, next to the valve shaft superstructure, discharges water to the valley below via a tunnel in the valley on the reservoir’s eastern side. The reservoir started to fill in July 1969 and the area was landscaped and parking and other facilities were provided.

The motorway, which was dependent on the completion of the dam, was opened to traffic on 20 December 1970 and officially opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II who unveiled a plaque near the valve tower of Scammonden Water on 14 October 1971.


The picture shows the motorway and the reservoir under construction in August 1970.





Ikea and the Gemini Retail Park in Warrington attract a lot of traffic to the M62. I guess that Ikea is particularly noteworthy as the Warrington store was the first of the furniture giant’s stores in the UK. It opened on 1st October 1987.


An aerial view of Ikea at Junction 8 of the M62. You can see how close the store is to the motorway.



The first Ikea store in 1987-1354154


Staff at the opening of the Warrington store in 1987.