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Wallbridge Lower Lock — Update 3

A lot happening at Wallbridge Lower Lock today — 25th July

A report from SDC’s Canal Project Manager — Dave Marshall

Top gates installed

The installation of the lock’s top gates show that work on the lock is nearing completion.WBLL Top gates

Our own volunteers, very ably helped by visiting Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) teams, have been working hard here for the last twelve months.

At the bottom end of the lock, where the offside wall has been pushed inwards by the pressure of the bank above, we now have a workable repair scheme. Unfortunately, we cannot start on that scheme as we must first repair the collapsed bank at the upstream, or eastern end, of the lock.

To do this the water be must be channelled through the lock itself – which cannot be done in the October to May fish spawning season. We therefore have a couple of months to sort out the infrastructure in order that the water can flow through the lock chamber.

Western Power working at the eastern end

The Western Power Distribution team is rerouting two high voltage and one low voltage cable away from the canal edge. This will allow us to cut the bank back.Western Power at WLLThe bank will be retained with interlocking concrete ‘porcupine’ blocks. This work involves lowering the level of the water in the canal and is due to start imminently.

Wrgies at work at the western end

Back at the bottom, or western end, of the lock our friends from WRG are back on site. Their current task is the removal of coping stones from the lower gate recess.WRGIES at WBLL

This will enable us to assess the condition of the recess brickwork. If it is found to be repairable, then that work can start almost immediately.

Repairs to the failed tail wall will be carried out by a contractor. This contract can begin in the autumn once the water level is raised again. The water will be taken around the damaged area by bringing the fish pass back into use.

Dave Marshall sums up…

“Along with Cheapside, we always knew that Wallbridge Lower Lock would be one of the biggest challenges of the Stroud District Council-led restoration.

“With Cheapside complete and work here well underway, the end – or at least the beginning of the end – is now firmly in sight!”