Buckland Lock on the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal, has today (Saturday 23 November from 10am) re-opened to boating after the we were forced to close it for repairs when a wall collapsed just before Easter.
The lock, which is nearly 200 years old, has now been completely rebuilt and strengthened with steel piles to give the wall extra support. Over 7,000 bricks have been used and over 450 tonnes of concrete poured to create the new reinforced lock wall which, once it has had a chance to weather in, will blend in with the rest of the lock.
In addition to repairing the lock wall the top lock gate has been replaced, the bottom set of gates have been refurbished and the brickwork on the opposite lock wall and lock approaches have been repointed and repaired. The local maintenance team also took advantage of the canal being closed and carried out vital repairs to a number of locks and lock walls further along the stretch of canal.
Peter Walker, engineering manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We are delighted that this work has now been completed and that this stretch of canal is once again open and can be enjoyed by boaters, walkers and nature lovers.
“Repairing the lock has been a real challenge and we have spent a great deal of time just after it collapsed trying to understand what caused the lock to fall down and then work out how best we should repair it. Although the canal is old, thankfully this sort of incident is still extremely rare and we have gone to great lengths to protect and repair the lock, to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again in the future.”