Original Free Bridge
This plaque stands on the site of the south abutment of the old Free Bridge or Haynes Memorial Bridge. The first toll free crossing of the gorge, it was funded by public subscription with the required land being donated by the land owners.
It was built in 1909 by the Liverpool Hennebique Co. to an open spandrel arch design by L.G.Mouchel & Partners and was a very early example of the use of reinforced concrete. It was substantially repaired in 1937 by the use of sprayed concrete after rusting of the reinforcing steel had been discovered.
The inset shows the section preserved on which the reinforcement and gunite repairs are just evident.
The new Jackfield Bridge has an overall span of 57m and the steel tower is 30m tall. It is an asymmetric cable stay designed by Gifford and Partners and was built by Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd.
It was opened in 1994 by George Raxster, Chairman, Shropshire County Council.
K.B. Madelin O.B.E. County Surveyor
Lloyds Head, Coalbrookdale, United Kingdom