A project has begun to remove and replace four multi-tonne lock gates from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Reading.
Our engineers will drain the water from Southcote Lock before craning the gates out. New made-to-measure gates will then be installed, each weighing three tonnes.
The project will cost approximately £130,000 and work is due to be completed by the end of December.
Built in 1723 by famed Newbury engineer John Hore, Southcote Lock is an important landmark in Berkshire’s waterway history. After falling into disrepair, the lock was closed in 1952, before being lovingly restored along with the rest of the Kennet & Avon Canal by teams of volunteers throughout the 1970s.
"The Kennet & Avon Canal is a beautiful waterway, and is more popular now than perhaps any time in living memory. " Mark Evans
Mark Evans, waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “We’re really pleased to be getting these gates replaced. Lock gates generally only last about 25 years, so they were due to be sorted, and will make a big difference to boaters coming on to the canal from the River Thames.
"The Kennet & Avon Canal is a beautiful waterway, and is more popular now than perhaps any time in living memory. This is a great example of the type of work that needs to be done to keep it in top condition so that everyone can continue to enjoy it.”