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Docklands lock gate ‘sunk’ back into place

A four month project to repair the lock gates that enable vessels from all over the world to enter London’s Docklands reached its conclusion.

Ducks watching lock gates being floated into place

We've re-installed the outer lock gate in West India Docks following repairs, as it was manoeuvred back into position by engineers fighting the out-going tide.

This winter we've spent £920,000 to repair two lock gates, both of which date back to 1929. The work has seen both floated out of the lock for repairs, before being returned and ‘sunk' back into position.

Each gate weighs 160 tonnes – the equivalent of two Boeing 737s – with this project being the single largest part of our programme to repair and restore waterways across the country over the last six months.

Hundreds of boats

The project is essential to ensure the lock gates operate efficiently for the hundreds of boats that pass through them each year. They are also vital for controlling the water levels within Docklands, so need to be kept in top condition.

The engineering work was carried out by Kier Group and GPSM DiveCo, on behalf of the Trust.

Colin Perkins, Canal & River Trust project manager, said: “We're delighted that the gates have both been repaired and are now back in place. It's been a really unique project, there are very few gates this size on the waterways.

"To get the gates floated off their normal position, taken away, repaired, then sunk back into place takes real precision and attention to detail. Take into account their size and how much they weigh and it becomes a huge task. There are a few minor improvements still to be made, but the bulk of the work is done now and the lock will reopen later this week.”

Last Edited: 09 May 2016

photo of a location on the canals
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