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News article created on 4 July 2014

Mon & Brec towpath reopens

Work to repair one of Wales’ most important and popular canals has been completed this week, six months after it was damaged by heavy rainfall.

Over the past six months we've installed over 500 massive pins, each between 10-15 metres long, into two areas of an embankment of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal at Llanfoist in the Brecon Beacons. The work stabilised the embankment which had ‘slipped’ after it had become so saturated with rain over the wet winter period that it slumped down the hillside.

The project cost us over £1million, which included public donations to our emergency flood appeal, as well as a £50,000 investment from Welsh Government from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

While the 200-year old waterway re-opened to boats in April, the scale of the damage meant ongoing work was required to reinforce and improve the surrounding areas.In addition to the pins, a mesh has been put in place to secure the embankment. The full stretch of towpath that runs alongside the canal is also now open, with walkers, cyclists and other towpath visitors previously using a short diversion.

Specialised engineering job

Vince Moran, operations director at Glandŵr Cymru, said: “This has been a massive and very specialised engineering job. The canal is hugely important to the local community and its economy, so we’re delighted the project has gone so well. We worked quickly to deal with the problem when the wet weather, which disrupted so much of the country, hit us.

"And given the scale of the repair, it was fantastic to have got the canal reopened ahead of the main boating season back in April. We’d like to say a big thanks to everyone in the local community for their help and support. Now the canal and towpath are open again as normal, we hope even more people come and visit what is one of the most beautiful waterway locations anywhere in Britain.”

Tourism Minister, Edwina Hart, adds: “I’m pleased that the Welsh Government was able to support this repair work to ensure that the work was completed as quickly as possible.  The canal will now be back in full working order and ready to welcome visitors over the summer holidays. I hope that many visitors and local residents will again use the towpath for walking, cycling and enjoyment of the countryside.”