Network Rail Bridge 176 spans the River Walk path between Guithavon Valley and Highfields Road. The bridge was built as a 23ft span, 38ft long underline tunnel with a five-ring semi-circular arch. In such cases the ‘tunnel’ was built first and the embankment tipped over the top. This bridge is in a pale yellow brick (unlike the other original bridges in Witham). It has suffered some graffiti since, which has been overpainted.
The extension of the eastern Counties Railway from Brentwood to Colchester was not opened until 1843.
By 1841 contracts were let for the building of the railway to Witham including a ‘Witham Embankment: 40,000 cubic yards carried with 180,000 cubic yards to complete. Considering these works were carried out by hand, including all the excavations and embankments, it was truly a massive undertaking and a remarkable achievement.
Sources: Peter Kay (Essex Railway Heritage Supplement); Witham & Countryside Society