The viaduct is 280 yards 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 and Liverpool Canal, the Manchester to Southport railway and the River Douglas and was constructed before the Rakewood Viaduct.
The steelwork deck was subcontracted to Robert Watson Steelwork Ltd of Bolton.
Due to the height of the bridge and the surrounding hillside exposure it is often subject to high speed cross winds.
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