Navigable aqueducts (sometimes called water bridges) are bridge structures that carry navigable waterway canals over other rivers, valleys, railways or roads. They are primarily distinguished by their size, carrying a larger cross-section of water than most water-supply aqueducts. Roman aqueducts were used to transport water and were created in Ancient Rome. The 662-metre (2,172 ft) long steel Briare aqueduct carrying the Canal latéral à la Loire over the River Loire was built in 1896. It was ranked as the longest navigable aqueduct in the world for more than a century, until the Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany took the title in the early 21st century.
Early aqueducts such as the three on the Canal du Midi had stone or brick arches, the longest span being 18.3 metres (60 ft) on the Cesse Aqueduct, built in 1690. But, the weight of the construction to support the trough with the clay or other lining to make it waterproof made these structures clumsy. In 1796 Longdon-on-Tern Aqueduct, the first large cast iron aqueduct was built by Thomas Telford at Longdon-on-Tern on the Shrewsbury Canal. It has a total length of 57 metres (187 ft) across three intermediate piers. Within ten years Telford had completed the far more ambitious Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales on the Llangollen Canal over the River Dee valley, with a total length 307 metres. Other cast-iron aqueducts followed, such as the single-span Stanley Ferry Aqueduct on the Calder and Hebble Navigation in 1839, with its innovative 50-metre (160 ft) through arch design.
Passenger (packet) boat on the Monocacy Aqueduct of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
The wall of the Conococheague Creek aqueduct collapsed when a boat hit it, shutting down navigation until repaired.
The captain jumped off the boat before the wall went out, dumping the boat into the creek below. There were no casualties in this accident.
The Seneca Aqueduct was a lift lock as well as an aqueduct.
This wooden aqueduct carried the Morris Canal over the Pompton River.