Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Amended Stoppage: Kennet & Avon Canal

Locks 68, 69 & 70

Monday 5 November 2012 - Friday 4 January 2013 UPDATE (11 December 2012): Works at Froxfield are progressing well, and water management challenges arising from intense rainfall events toward the end of November were successfully managed. The gate replacement works are running to plan.

The lock chambers are in worse condition than anticipated; with the scaffolds in place it has been possible to assess the full depth of damage. It has been necessary to break back to a depth of 500mm (approx. 20 inches) in places.  To date, over 6,000 bricks have been used to repair the chamber walls; in total the lock wall repairs will require around 12,000 bricks.

Although the brick laying is likely to be complete by the 21st December, time will be required to allow the lime mortar to cure. The use of lime mortar is important for repairing these historic structures correctly, but the recent dip in temperature could lengthen the curing time.  This section of the canal will therefore remain closed for the Christmas period; reopening will be reviewed during the first week of January.  Although this decision will doubtless cause some inconvenience to people in the short term, my priority is ensuring the long term durability of brick repairs that are intended to last the next 50 years and beyond.  Thank you for your patience and continued support of the Waterway.

BEng(Hons) CEng MICE

Kennet and Avon Waterways

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