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Capels Mill Progress Report No. 4

Waitrose Supermarket Visitor Mooring established

The day draws ever closer that boats may make a shopping stop near Stroud’s supermarket.

Bollards for temporary visitor moorings have been installed in the concrete capping on the west side of the Capels Mill Viaduct. See first picture.

The second picture shows project manager Dr Simon Dunn standing on Dr Newton’s Bridge over the canal.

Water & electricity mains cross the canal

The interesting hump in the middle of the canal indicates the location of the Severn Trent water main.

This will shortly be buried some five metres below the canal bed. A high voltage electricity cable has been similarly buried deep beneath what will become the bed of the canal.

Completion of the water main work will allow the excavation of the canal channel to a depth of 2.5 metres.

Safe access for shoppers

The towpath alongside the canal at this point is now established. The slope to Simon’s right will lead towards the footpath and pedestrian crossing. This will provide safe access to Waitrose.

Progress on the eastern side

The next pictures show work in progress on the East side of the viaduct. The steel cage-like assemblies in the foreground will reinforce the concrete piles that will form the retaining wall high above the canal.

The final picture shows the top of the retaining wall and the capping preparation work. Completion of this stage will again allow the canal channel to be excavated and formed.

Busy place, many people

Simon explained…

"The Eastern side of the project cannot be seen from the footpath at the moment.

"It is a busy place with the carpenters fixing the wooden formwork to hold the concrete as it is contiguously poured over the reinforcing steelwork.

 

"The pile driver in the distance is on the last stretch of the 15 metre deep bore piling. As well as fifteen people working on site, we have had recent visits from Rail Track representatives.

"They are happy with the proximity of the excavations beneath the viaduct. This is a site with a great deal of history and our work must display an appreciation of the heritage value of the area. This is overseen by a local consultancy, Cotswold Archaeology of Cirencester, who also came on site this week."

Public Open Days Planned

The public interest in the project has led Dave Marshall of Stroud District Council to arrange public access to the whole site.

Dates & Times

Public open days will be held here on Friday 14th September (1pm – 4pm) and Saturday 15th September (10am – 1pm). 

Dave explains… “The Open Days at Capels Mill will give the public a chance to see the canal works at close quarters – and from a different perspective. There has been a lot of interest in these works, but only part of the site is visible from outside."

Engineers on site

Engineers involved in the project will be on hand to answer questions.

Note: If the weather is poor the open days may need to be cancelled for safety reasons. There is no car parking on site and sturdy footwear is recommended!

Further Recommendations

The Capels Mill site is well worth a visit. Why not first call in at the Wallbridge Lock Visitor Centre to get an overview?

This will put the Capel's Mill project into context, as will the short walk along the newly surfaced towpath towards Dr Newtons Bridge.

Steps just before the bridge lead up to the road. Take care crossing the by-pass. The high level footpath on  site provides a good view of the works. Carry on towards the viaduct and you will enter a delightfully peaceful riverside spot where evidence of the original woollen mill can be seen at the water's edge.

Time & patience to wait here awhile may be rewarded by sightings of the kingfisher and dippers from the footbridge.