Dredging work progresses well
Land & Water Services are making excellent progress dredging the canal between Wallbridge Lower Lock and Lodgemore Bridge.
The first work boats in eighty years recently arrived on this stretch of water. Two brand new mud hoppers and a mini push tug to operate them are pictured right.
The mud hoppers were manufactured in Birmingham. They will be used to transfer dredged material along the length of newly navigable water.
Cost saving ingenuity
An ingenious cost saving and environmentally sound method of retaining the material on site has been adopted. The northern bank margin which borders onto the rear aspect of Homebase has been reshaped to provide the repository for hundreds of cubic metres of silt.
Environmental benefits explained
Senior Site Manager Chris Spencer explains…
“Off-site disposal of dredged material to landfill is expensive. So, to save costs for Stroud District Council, we have re-shaped the north bank by creating a flat top, a sort of shelf if you like… We then created a raised bank at the front of the shelf and along its full length. The long reach of the WK80 tracked amphibious excavator (pictured right) allows us to move the material up onto the new flat area behind the banked edge. This process allows the silt to drain and go firm. This stuff is very rich in nutrients so will soon become covered in vegetation – great for wildlife and waterside plants!"
Chris Spencer took some time to climb up onto a safe place above the deep mud to take a picture – (photograph 3). “I took this picture to emphasise that this amount of deep mud means that whilst we are working here this place is not a playground.”
Click on the images to view larger versions.
Wallbridge Lower Lock is due for refurbishment in Spring 2015. However, some time is to be saved by the Land & Water team whilst they are on site. The company has been tasked with removing the dangerously tilted wall overhanging the lock and to clear material from the lock itself. This will also provide a clearer picture of the structural integrity of the lock.
Work along this stretch is being funded with the assistance of a £100,000 grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust.
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