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.