Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
From Stockport it flows near Didsbury, Stretford, Urmston, Flixton , and then at Irlam it flows into the Manchester Ship Canal, which canalised the River Irwell to this point. The course of the Mersey has been obliterated by the Canal past Hollins Green to Rixton although the old river bed can be seen at Warburton ; at Rixton the River Bollin enters the Canal from the south and the Mersey leaves the Canal to the north, meandering through Woolston, where the Ship Canal Company's dredgings have formed a nature reserve (Woolston Eyes), and Warrington. It is tidal from Howley Weir in Warrington, although high spring tides often top the weir. At the Runcorn Gap between Widnes & Runcorn rail and road bridges (Runcorn Bridge) span the river and the Ship Canal, which runs alongside the widening estuary to Eastham Locks where Canal and River unite, and from here the estuary narrows to flow between Liverpool and Birkenhead into Liverpool Bay on the Irish Sea, after a total course of around 70 miles. The conurbation on its banks near the coast is known as Merseyside. The eastern part of this estuary is much affected by silting, and part of it is marked on modern maps as dry land instead of as tidal.
Two road tunnels run under the Mersey at Liverpool: the older Queensway Tunnel (opened 1934) connecting with Birkenhead, and the Kingsway Tunnel (opened 1971) connecting with Wallasey. There is also a railway tunnel dating back to the 1880s, which carries passenger services on the Merseyrail franchise. Crossings are also possible via the Mersey Ferry, again at Liverpool.
The river is now internationally famous thanks to the music of the 1960s known as Merseybeat and its strong association with Liverpool, which produced songs such as "Ferry Across The Mersey".
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