There aren't many motorways around the country — even around the world — that don't, at some point, dip through a cutting, cross low ground on an embankment or pass under a flyover carrying a smaller road. And the M62 is no different. At Scammonden, it crosses an embankment, then passes through a cutting with a flyover that carries a B-road. Ho hum.
Of course, Scammonden is a little different — the embankment is the top of a dam holding back a mile-long reservoir, and the cutting is some 40 metres (120ft) deep. The flyover carrying a B-road? It was the longest single-span non-suspension bridge in the world when it was built.
Click a photo to see a larger version.
Taken from the car park overlooking the reservoir's east shore, the bridge is visible in the distance — about 1.5 to 2 miles away. From here its context isn't clear.
Closer to the motorway (on the right is the boundary fence) the location becomes clearer — though the height of the embankment isn't obvious from this side of the road. To the right of the bridge, the road leading down the hillside was built as a temporary diversion for the road across the top while the cutting and bridge were being built.
Looking north from the edge of the cutting on the south side of the motorway. It's starting to become clear how big the bridge is!
To try to give some idea of the height, here's a small section of the bridge parapet with one of the M62's light columns down below. The light are huge things — but are only a quarter of the height of the bridge at best.
Looking east (and down!) from the bridge, the motorway below is tiny. Keep in mind that the photo is taken from a flyover carrying a B-road over a man-made cutting!
Looking west, out to Moss Moor and the Lancashire border. The depth of the cutting is incredible, but easy to miss given the rest of the scenery!
A view to the east again from the middle of the road over the bridge. showing the M62 passing over Scammonden Dam. In the distance it passes into a cutting that, anywhere else, would be the biggest for miles around.
Another view east, making both the height of the bridge and the size of the dam more obvious. The dam is about another 40 metres in height, and was built using the material excavated from the cutting.
Another view to the west. From the northern end of the bridge, you can see further along the road, across to the split-level sections. It's not apparent from the road just how much the motorway climbs towards junction 22.