We are spending £500,000 to repair the huge ship lock at Marsh Lock on the River Weaver. Specialist divers working 6ft below water have installed a temporary dam using 54 large steel planks, allowing the lock to be drained of water for the first time in almost 50 years.
Now empty, our engineers are carrying out important repairs to the lock's large oak timber gates.
Simon Harding, our project manager said: "Marsh Lock is a large ship lock built in 1895 to link the Weaver Navigation to the Manchester Ship Canal and allow commercial boat traffic at that time to transport salt and all manner of goods to serve industry. To give some idea of the scale of the project, most locks we repair fit one narrowboat at a time-Marsh Lock is big enough to fit in 29!"
The repairs to the lock include refurbishing the outer lock gates, carrying out mechanical and electrical repairs to gate operating systems and other repairs within the lock chamber as needed. Once finished the lock will be back in use and easier to operate for many years to come.
The repairs to Marsh Lock are part of a £43 million restoration and repair programme taking place this winter on canals and rivers across the country.