Restoration Works – An update from Galliford-Try’s Richard Scott
Work continues towards converting the 1700's built Stroudwater Navigation into a waterway fit for 21st century use.
The changes involve replacing a number of long ago fixed swing-bridges with finely balanced new versions. Some will be powered by 'person-pumped' hydraulics while others will be operated by electricity.
Challenges & Changes
Added to such innovations Galliford-Try have also been contracted to create the means by which the waterway will generate power!
Richard Scott pictured right at Ocean Bridge Stonehouse is Gallford-Try's Project Engineer. Richard recently took time to explain the current situation.
Work continues at Stonehouse. Engineers are engaged in installation of the hydraulic winding apparatus that will open the bridge.
A high friction surface has been applied to the bridge deck and the westerly bund is being removed.
Much of the stone used to form the abutments to the bridge was salvaged from the Upper Mills bridge site.
Ebley Flood Control Gates
The recent heavy rains allowed the purpose of the flood control installation to be put to the test.
Whilst the gates are not yet operative the stop planks held back the water allowing it to back up to the Overspill Weir.
Ebley Overflow & Confluence Weirs
The recent rains ensured that the overflow weir was seen in action. The galvanised finish will shortly be painted black.
The nearby confluence weir structure includes a fish pass.
Dudbridge Locks & Hydro Electric Scheme
The picture right shows the locks in the soon to be widened channel.
The area to the left of the locks shows the route to be taken by the water that will power the electricity generating turbine.
Chestnut Lane Bridge (not pictured)
The old fixed swing bridge was removed on 26th April allowing work to commence on the creation of abutments and a base for the powered pivoting mechanism.
Richard commented, “We have had to co-ordinate so many different agencies for this one. Gas, water, electricity – all had to be moved whilst maintaining the supply of each and in addition great care had to taken working close to a fibre optic communication cable."
A final word from Richard says a lot about how the people in and around Stroud appreciate the challenges of restoration…
"We have found the people from local businesses and local residents to be friendly, understanding and realistic. This particularly applies to those in and around Chestnut Lane and Ocean Bridge."
Hilly Orchard Bridge
Local company, Gardiners, are also hard at work on the Stroudwater. They are engaged on the ramp extension to Hilly Orchard Bridge.
This will provide access across the canal for wheelchairs and buggies.
The water level footbridge in the foreground will be removed before June 2nd.