Warburton Bridge, officially known as Rixton and Warburton Bridge, is a privately owned statutory tolled undertaking which incorporates a public highway road length. The high-level cantilever bridge crosses the Manchester Ship Canal on the B5159 road, connecting the A57 with the A6144, and was commissioned under the Rixton & Warburton Bridge Act 1863. That same Act also set a maximum charge of two shillings and six pence (12½p) for each crossing.
The original stone bridge spanned the River Mersey prior to its diversion into the Manchester Ship Canal and the construction of the present-day bridge.[a]The Manchester Ship Canal was opened in 1894. Warburton is one of the few remaining pre-motorway toll bridges in the United Kingdom, and the only one in Greater Manchester.[b]There are no such toll bridges in either Wales or Scotland. The bridge is owned by the Manchester Ship Canal Company, part of the Peel Ports Group.