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Lodgemore Lift Bridge Update No. 3

A couple of problems to report

The first sentence of last week's Lodgemore Update No.2 stated that 'work is going well.' At that stage it was but… there has been a slight hitch this week. The piling auger has encountered some immensely hard material on the towpath side and some problematically soft material has been uncovered on the other.

Canal Restoration Project Manager Dave Marshall explains…

"We all know the old adage 'if it can go wrong, it will' – well it has! The piling contractor has had to pull off site due to two problems:-

"On the south (towpath) side, ground conditions mean that piles cannot be bored to the specified depth. The normal solution would be to bring in a larger piling rig, but the site is too confined. Accordingly, our engineers are reviewing the pile design to accommodate the shallower depth.

"On the north side, a large amount of rotten timber – probably dating from when the canal was built, was discovered under the 1920s swing bridge pintle.

"It would not have been possible to pile through this, so it has had to be removed – leaving a large hole. For safety reasons, this has been temporarily backfilled.

"As a result, we are now looking at the possibility of sitting the new bridge on a mass concrete – rather than piled – foundation. If our engineers can confirm the practicality of this, we would hope to begin pouring that concrete next week (commencing 16th November). Piling on the south side will hopefully recommence on Monday, 23rd November, once the rig becomes available again"

Video footage — history in the making

In the meantime CCT's film maker Robert Paget has emerged from the editing suite with some historically interesting video footage of the removal of the iron framed structure.

Robert has spliced his footage in with some freeze frame images supplied by Glyn Howells of Farsons Watercams. The Watercams footage records the passage of CCT's maintenance boat Wookey Hole through Lodgemore. The tidier banks, evident in the second picture, are the result of the efforts of Wookey Hole's hard working crew.