We've begun the final phase of essential works at Pollington Lock near Goole on the Aire & Calder Navigation.
Work to replace three giant sets of lock gates and carry out essential repairs to the lock’s structure and fittings began in early January. There have been various challenges along the way, with the gates having to be transported by water due to weight restrictions on local roads and adverse weather conditions impacting schedules, but now all three sets of new gates are in place at Lock 13, and the last part of the work is underway.
With the lock empty, teams will now be working on the inner structure over the coming weeks, with the project remaining on track for completion in the middle of March.
Julian Rasen, our construction supervisor, said: "Pollington Lock was the busiest recorded lock site in the north east in 2015 and 2016, so this essential work will benefit the many boaters who pass through this stretch every year for the next 20 years.
"This is also one of our most complex projects this winter. In total, the crane boat has had to lift around 84 tonnes of gates – six old ones out and six new ones in – and we’ve had to drain and refill the lock twice, relocating fish each time.
"Now we’re into the final stages and the teams can go in to the drained lock to work on the floor, ladders and brickwork. It’s wonderful to see the hard work continuing and progress being made and we look forward to seeing the lock open for boats in time for Easter trips."
The lock gates, each of which is handmade to exact specifications by our expert carpenters at the Stanley Ferry workshop in Wakefield, last for around 25 years. Replacing them is a vital part of our work, ensuring that canals and rivers remain navigable for thousands of boats each year.