How to Make Your Own Mini-Water Bridge and Canal

This pint-sized water bridge and canal needs to be seen to be believed.
Christopher McFadden

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If you are looking to add an interesting feature to your garden, then this little beauty might be just the thing you are looking for. Make your garden really stand out by installing your own miniature water bridge and canal!

This might sound insane, but the final product, we think you'll agree, is something truly outstanding. Follow this guide to find out how. 

diy water canal complete
Source: Construction General/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started like any project of this nature. 

Materials and gear needed

Step 1: Prepare the ground

The first step, once you've selected a suitable site, is to prepare the ground for the mini-water bridge. If no trench or trench-like feature is already in place, excavate one. 

With that done, cut out some niches opposite one another in the trench to mark the position of the water bridge. Then, dig some holes in the base of the trench to mark the footing of the water bridge's pillars. 

With that done, take some steel wire, cut and shape it, as shown in the video, and assemble it to make a mini-tubular frame resembling a caisson. 

diy canal caisson
Source: Construction General/YouTube

Rinse and repeat to make a second, equally-sized frame. With that done, make another frame to the dimensions needed for the main water bridge structure.

Next, take your concrete mixture and mix it with the required formula. Once done, fill the hole in the bottom of the trench with concrete to form some foundations for the pillars. When ready, place the pillar wireframes into the concrete. 

diy canal pillars
Source: Construction General/YouTube

Before leaving to set, ensure the pillars are perfectly vertical and the same height. With that done, fully cover the base of each pillar.

Next, either make or use a suitably sized mold for the shape of the foundation section, streamlined or not, of the pillars. Fill the mold with cement as needed. With that done, add more cement to the retaining walls of the water bridge structure. 

Leave the concrete to cure.

Step 2: 

Once the concrete is cured, remove all molds from the ground as needed. 

diy water bridge foundations
Source: Construction General/YouTube

With that done, build some molds for the main pillars and place them over the main pillar steel frames. Then fill the molds with concrete, as needed. 

diy water bridge concrete pillars
Source: Construction General/YouTube

While you leave the pillars to cure, prepare the ground on either side of the main water bridge to extend the canal on either side. Widen the canal in places to act as passing points, if the canal was real. 

With that done, reinforce the walls of the earthen canal with concrete. You will likely need to make a frame to help you here too. 

diy water bridge canal walls
Source: Construction General/YouTube

Leave the concrete to cure and remove the frames once dry.

Step 3: Make the water bridge proper

Next, mock up a frame for the main water bridge and position it in place on the pillars and connect the canals on either side. With that done, take some more concrete and fill the base of each canal. 

Level off the concrete as needed. Build up some levees, and towpath/roads on either side of the canal too. With that done, place your metal frame for the main water bridge in place. 

diy water bridge steel frame
Source: Construction General/YouTube

Once done, cover the frame with concrete to create the main water bridge structure. Level off the concrete to match that of the concrete structures on either side of the water bridge. 

With that done, build a mini-fence and fix it into the water bridge towpath/road. 

diy water bridge fence
Source: Construction General/YouTube

As before, leave the concrete to fully cure and remove the frames to expose the main concrete structure.

Step 4: Add some decorate features

Next, paint the concrete structure as needed. For example, paint the towpath/road a darker grey or black color all the way along its length. 

diy water bridge paint
Source: Construction General/YouTube

Once the paint is dry, paint some dashed lines on the towpath/road to imitate a centerline on a real road. You can either do this freehand or create a template. 

Next, create or buy some commercially available bollards, and glue them along the length of the towpath/road on either side of the carriageway.

diy water bridge center line
Source: Construction General/YouTube

With that done, create some small signs, and place these in strategic positions along the length of the canal and water bridge, as needed. 

Next, fill the canal and water bridge with some water. You can also flood the main trench under the water bridge too. 

diy canal flood canal
Source: Construction General/YouTube

With that done, take some toy cars, and people, and place them along the road/towpath of the water bridge and canal. You can also buy, or of course, make, some canal boats to place inside the main waterway of the canal. 

You may want to consider using some remote-controlled, or powered, models, but this is completely up to you. In this case, the boats were made from polystyrene and small battery-powered motors were added to propel them along.