Lodgemore to Ebley Channel Dredging – Contractors Report No. 3 by Chris Spencer
Given the dry weather the works are now well advanced with all channel widening complete as of Tuesday 29th May 2012.
We have several large stockpiles of excavated material which have been left to drain.
This leaves a moist soil material that is suitable for landfill restoration, i.e. covering the landfill site.
Organic & Non organic
This material possesses high grade organic qualities and soon breaks down to become a very rich soil cover. However, we have had to remove a quantity of ‘non organic matter’ – everything from bikes & prams to shopping trolleys.
Dudbridge Wharf Revealed!
A winding hole – turning point for boats – has been created just downstream of Dudbridge near the transport yard.
This has exposed the original stone wharf wall by the canal wharf crane. The historic crane can be seen in the picture right.
Heavy tree roots had to be cut out by a specialist team in order to allow the towpath to be reinstated.
Works to construct the towpath between Hilly Orchard footbridge and Dudbridge are also well underway.
Widening of the navigation channel has created a restricted space at this location. This means that small scale equipment must be used.
The site at Strachans Close, and its slipway, is nearly complete with all excavated material removed and some final landscaping to be undertaken.
A Large Amphibian
One of our specialist amphibious weed cutting boats, the Swedish built Truxor, (pictured right) has been hard at work clearing the channel of weed downstream from Ebley Mill.
It is now currently working downstream of Upper Mills.
The amphibious craft cuts the weed and collects the material, placing it on the bank where it will quickly compost.
Planning & Logistics
Logistics play a large role when undertaking channel works of this nature.
A good part of our working day is taken up with the planning necessary to get the right equipment into the right location.
When that equipment is 3.5 metres wide x 10 metres long, weighs 28 tonnes and runs on caterpillar tracks then the operational need to place it precisely into a small residential cul-de-sac full of parked cars can place very high demands on the site team.
We shall return
We still have several areas of small works to undertake. We will return after the festival to complete that work. This will feature in our final report.
Chris Spencer – Senior Site Manager – Land & Water Services