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News article created on 27 January 2017

Manchester City Centre Canal £115,000 winter makeover

Two sets of locks on Manchester city centre’s Rochdale Canal are being upgraded and improved, thanks to our £115,000 winter works package.

Piccadily Undercroft underground lock 85

Our annual programme of restoration and repairs to the nation’s historic waterways during the winter, aims to minimise the inconvenience of navigation closures to boaters during the busy summer season.

We will be closing the canal for six weeks from the beginning of February to carry out planned works to a short section, known as the Piccadilly Undercroft, which flows underneath the main A6 Piccadilly road, near the Malmaison Hotel and Ducie Street. A secure construction site is due to be set up during the week beginning February 6th and public access to the site will not be possible.

A worn-out set of oak gates at Lock 84 are to be replaced and at Lock 85, we will be carrying out refurbishment of the chamber walls and existing lock gates.

Local Canal & River Trust manager David Baldacchino said: "Lock gates only have a working lifespan of two to three decades, so they do need to be replaced at fairly regular intervals. This vital improvement work should really help boaters enjoy a smoother passage through the city centre waterway."

This winter we will be spending over £45million to restore around 164 lock gates across the country, as well as carrying out repairs to aqueducts, reservoirs and tunnels. New lock gates are hand-crafted using traditional methods in our specialist heritage workshops. A single lock gate can take up to 20 days to make and in order for it to be watertight, it needs to be built very precisely, fitting tightly to the masonry of the lock walls and any other gate.