The bridge was built in the 1980's when the Stroud bypass was constructed to provide a diversionary route for the canal, as the new road used part of the canal bed.
The bypass was constructed along part of the line of the canal between the viaduct and close to the roundabout near Waitrose. The viaduct steel bridge section is where the canal used to run.
Before New Canal Section Completed
Before Stroud Bypass Built
This was the view in 1986, not long before the present day road was constructed. Dr Newtons Way canal bridge is now just beyond the viaduct.
This photo was taken from the bridge that crossed the canal at this point to carry the towpath onto the opposite bank (see next photo).
This view looking through the railway viaduct shows the footbridge where the towpath used to cross over the canal to the other bank (more or less in line with what is now Waitrose). The towpath now crosses using Dr Newtons Way Bridge.