Work continues apace at Capels Mill
Work at Capels Mill continues at a rate that demands constant attention to appreciate the size of the task involved in the ingenious creation of the new canal channel.
The top picture shows the view from west of the viaduct towards Dr Newton’s Way Bridge over the canal.
Line of towpath revealed
The left of the picture shows the top of the line of the 6.2 meters deep sheet piling.
The portion that remains visible indicates the eventual level of the towpath.
The tops of the piles will be capped with a concrete edge. The next step will be to match this arrangement on the north side of the channel.
This will allow the excavation of material between the two edges to a depth of 2.5 metres. The bottom of that channel will then be sealed with 600 millimetres of puddling clay to retain the water.
The sloping bank to the left of the top picture, known as ‘the batter’ in civil engineering parlance, has received a layer of topsoil that will be seeded in due course. The bank leads up to the very popular ‘temporary’ footpath through the site towards the River Frome and Rodborough beyond.
Project manager Simon Dunn explained, “The local people seem to appreciate the pathway and the view it gives of the works. Many say they hope it will be retained.
"I usually suggest that they let the people know at Stroud District Council. It would certainly save time and money if it did remain”
The middle picture shows the development of that temporary footpath.
The steps at the end have been replaced by a gentle slope down to the river’s edge. Here the well-known footbridge remains next to the still visible remnants of William Capel’s woollen mill once driven by the fast flowing Frome.
Take time to linger
This area still presents a beautiful refuge from the traffic of the bypass.
Dippers and Kingfishers are to be seen if you have time to linger on the bridge and marvel at the powerful flow of the River Frome.
Action on the east side
The eastern side of the viaduct remains a hive of activity as concrete piling continues. The 15 metre deep holes are currently being drilled and filled with reinforced concrete at the rate of four or five per day in order to create the wall that will become the northern edge of the new canal.
A find from the past
Simon Dunn referred to the oft asked question ‘Have you dug up anything interesting?’
“We found some proof that this was once Stroud’s rubbish tip the other day. The auger brought up the remains of a newspaper from some five metres down. It carried the date 1962!”
Its not all muddy boots and big machines
The final picture shows Paul White, yet another native of Abergavenny. Paul was on site well away from the mud, rain and roaring diesels.
However, Paul's presence is as vital to the success of the scheme as the big machine expertise we witnessed outside.
Paul applies his skills as the project’s Quantity Surveyor. He leaned back from the computer screen displaying a complex colour coded spread sheet to explain…
“I come up here twice a week to monitor costs and expenditure. It has to be a continual process. I am looking after the interests of the company as well as the client”
Paul seemed to be content with the progress of this huge piece of civil engineering and the numbers behind it all. He made a very reassuring comment before he resumed his work at the keyboard… “Simon and his team are doing a good job here.”
View the Capels Mill Plan
Click here to view the site plan