Engineers from the charity, Canal & River Trust, have been busy working out how best to repair Buckland Lock, lock 12 on the Grand Union Canal Aylesbury Arm, after it collapsed just before Easter.
Detailed investigations about what caused the lock, which was built in 1839, to collapse are still ongoing and it is now expected the canal will re-open around the end of October.
Works to repair the lock will start in the next few weeks and will involve building a new concrete lock wall , which will be faced in brickwork in keeping with the remaining parts of the lock.
Peter Walker, engineering manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We have been busy over these last few months setting up the works site, creating a new access track alongside the lock and removing the wall that collapsed.
“Unfortunately it has taken longer than expected to get to the stage where we can start to rebuild the wall and we are now looking at reopening the canal a few months later than first thought. It is frustrating and I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we do need a bit longer to do the repair job, do it well, and to make sure the wall lasts for another 200 years.”
As a result of the lock collapsing a number of boaters were craned out of the canal after they became stranded in the Aylesbury Basin. With the new Circus Fields Marina expected the open in the next few weeks there are plans to crane boaters, who have already booked moorings at the marina, back into the canal so they can enjoy their new marina facilities.
As well as repairing the wall and towpath the opposite lock wall will be pinned to prevent it from moving, the top lock gate will be refurbished and minor brick work repairs will be made to the lock approach walls.