A canal bridge has been closed after a 7.5 ton lorry crashed into its parapet and knocked sandstone bricks into the water below.
Police said the HGV was trying to cross the Lancaster Canal bridge, known as Moon’s Bridge, in Hollowforth Lane at Woodplumpton, when it collided with the wall.
The rear of the lorry was left hanging partly off the bridge and heavy lifting gear had to be used to rescue the vehicle. The driver was unharmed.
The bridge is closed to motorists and the canal below is also out of operation.
Moon’s Bridge Marina, which is on the southern side of the canal and home to more than 100 boats, is still open for business, but is now only accessible by car from Woodplumpton Road.
Pat Jackson, whose family have run the business for more than 25 years, said: “We just heard the noise and went out to look. It was very close to coming off the bridge. It will harm our business so we hope any repair work is done as fast as possible.”
Police were called to the scene at around 4.50pm on Friday, January 4, and officers led a two-hour rescue operation.
A local resident said the closure would cause problems for villagers and passing traffic.
He said: “I was working outside and heard all the sirens going past.
“The wagon’s windscreen was smashed. I believe the keystone in the bridge has been damaged.
“It’s going to be awkward for a lot of people, especially parents taking children to school in Station Lane, and lorries are now going up Eaves Lane to get to Honeywell.”
Lancashire County Council said it was working closely with the Canal and River Trust, which owns the bridge, to repair it “as soon as possible”.
Paul Dunne, highways manager for Preston, said: “We’ve had to close Hollowforth Lane to through-traffic for safety, as the damage to the bridge over the canal is quite severe with the parapet on one side now below the level of the road.
“We’re keeping the bridge open to pedestrians, which will be a help to nearby businesses as it means people can continue to approach from either end of Hollowforth Lane and walk across the bridge.”
Traffic is being diverted via Woodplumpton Road, Newsham Hall Lane, Woodplumpton Lane, Garstang Road and Station Lane, with signs at either end of Hollowforth Lane.
The Canal and River Trust said work would be carried out this weekend to remove brickwork from the water.
A spokesman said: “We’ve got specialist contractors in the canal to try and get out the masonry that has fallen in.
“We’re hoping to get the navigation and the towpath open as quickly as possible.”