Canal Project Update – February 2013
A report from SDC Project Manager Dave Marshall
Ocean Bridge, Stonehouse
Difficulties in operating this hand-wound swing bridge remain. Our own engineers have assessed it and found that it does not appear to be swinging evenly.
Certainly the mechanism does not run smoothly and the bridge could be out-of-balance. Whilst not having an operable bridge in terms of boating is not currently a problem.
The contractor is expected to resolve the problem before final payment is made.
Dudbridge – Towpath
REACH continues work to raise the towpath between Hilly Orchard and Dudbridge Bridge.
Work here is virtually complete, though it has inevitably been delayed by high water levels. The contractors are now expected to be off-site by 15th February.
Before then, snagging works to the channel and outstanding works to the wall above the hydro-electric chamber outlet need to be completed.
The old Marling school rugby field will be re-fenced over half term.
Potential contractors for the lock refurbishment have now been put through the pre-qualification process, preparatory to tenders being invited this month.
Near Dudbridge Road, trial holes have been dug to exactly locate the gas main, enabling a new flood wall to be built; this work is out to tender.
The new swing bridge is again unserviceable. The problem appears to be a cable fault, perhaps caused by flooding.
Investigations are underway to locate the problem. The brick wall behind the control cabinet is complete and protective railings around the structure are being installed.
The last of the 53 special ground anchors has finally been installed, a layer of gravel 25-30m below ground level having caused problems.
The anchors are intended to ‘tie in’ the concrete piled wall, which holds back the hillside – which largely consists of 1970s domestic refuse!
This final anchor still needs to be tested and stressed.
Works to reduce the level below the piled wall have begun, with surplus soil being removed from the site. This will eventually permit construction of the concrete channel which will carry the canal East of the railway viaduct.
Volunteers from the Tuesday and Thursday groups are now busy upgrading the towpath East of Bowbridge Lock. This section is extremely narrow and in most cases it will not be possible to achieve the 2m standard width.
Griffins Mill Lock
Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) volunteers led by Steve Hake, have finished rebuilding the offside wall and are now focusing on removing defective brickwork from the towpath side. They have also installed stop plank grooves. Work here has been delayed by high water levels.
Ham Mill Lock
With Heritage Lottery funding now extending only from Stonehouse to Bowbridge, all work East of Bowbridge will have to be carried out by volunteers.
The Waterway Recovery Group has now committed to working at least one weekend per month at Ham Mill Lock (Thrupp) between March and November, together with two week-long work camps in August.
The CCT trip boat, now named Endeavour, is now in the water at Saul Junction and can be seen from the public car park. Crew training will begin shortly and she will begin passenger services from Ebley Mill in the spring.
Click here for the full story of the name Endeavour with pictures.
Waterway Renaissance Awards
Having won an award last year, we have submitted five applications – each for different categories – this year. All five have made it through the first round and will be judged this Thursday and Friday.
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