From Date: 02/01/2019 08:00
To Date: On-going
Type: Navigation Closure
Is the towpath closed? No
Closest waterway: Weaver Navigation
Starts at: Saltersford Large Lock
Ends at: Saltersford Large Lock
Upstream winding hole: River Weaver
Downstream winding hole: River Weaver
We would like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused by the closure of Saltersford Lock on the Weaver Navigation following the serious incident in which the stop planks failed at the end of April. Both our health and safety and engineering teams have been working to investigate the potential cause of the stop plank failure to enable us to develop a safe system of work to de-water and access the lock to complete the necessary repairs.
We are pleased to confirm that our investigation is complete and our design for the new de-watering procedure will be complete in the next week.
The proposed solution will take a number of months to manufacture the new steelwork and for our divers to install the equipment before we can complete the construction works. We have also developed an interim repair to the downstream cill that we can complete with our divers and open the lock sooner. The interim detail does have the risk that it will be unsuccessful, however, we will endeavour to have the navigation open by early August. With an interim cill repair in place we will need to return to make a full repair with a planned winter stoppage in the next few years.
We will be arranging a meeting in the next few weeks for our affected customers to attend as to provide an explanation of the technical issues being faced at Saltersford Lock, to explain the interim and long-term repairs and to answer any questions.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience during this very challenging and unique safety issue.
Following prior updates indicating a planned reopening date of 18th May, unfortunately Saltersford Lock has since been subject to a structural failure at its downstream end. This has irreparably displaced some of the stop planks forming the downstream dam, causing the lock to become flooded during what was expected to be the final stages of the works – no one was hurt as a result of this. Unfortunately the repairs to the downstream lock gate cill had not been completed when this incident occurred; therefore, the lock is still inoperable until it can either be dewatered again, or if it is possible to complete the remaining repairs underwater using divers.
Our teams are working urgently to understand the nature of the failure, to establish what can be done safely to rectify the situation. At this stage we are unable to provide a revised opening date until assessment of the potential courses of action has been completed. We sincerely apologise to our customers as regrettably the lock will be closed until further notice. We will provide another update in due course.
Unfortunately the works at Saltersford Lock have encountered further delays since our last update, but we have now found a solution to the issues preventing a seal on the downstream stop planks. The lock has now been pumped down allowing us to fully inspect the structure and commence the repairs urgently needed to the cill and gates. We apologise that our revised date for re-opening the navigation to customers has been pushed out to 17th May 2019.
Dewatering the lock has been a huge challenge for our operatives, requiring installation of 9 separate large blanking plates, 6 props across the lock chamber, top and bottom stop planks and repairs to a damaged downstream cill, all of which have been done underwater by divers to facilitate pumping the water out. Having reached this stage of the project, we need to be able to take this opportunity to return the lock to an operable condition. The scale of problems we have experienced have been unforeseen, but nonetheless reflect the complexity of dewatering a large river lock of deteriorated condition.
We apologise for this ongoing closure, and thank customers for their continuing patience with us.
Unfortunately the works at Saltersford Lock have encountered unforeseen problems with its structural condition during the dewatering phase. This has resulted in a delay to the project, and the earliest date when we hope to be able to re-open the navigation to customers is now by close of play on 18th April 2019.
All preparatory works are being carried out underwater by divers, so there are obvious complexities associated with this. The floor on the downstream approach to the lock has been found to be badly damaged and this is currently preventing installation of the downstream stop planks until a solution is implemented. Urgent works are ongoing to try and resolve this issue in order that the lock can be dewatered, thoroughly inspected and repaired as necessary in order to facilitate its future operable condition.
We apologise for this ongoing closure, and are progressing the dewatering (and subsequent repairs) as soon as we can.
|Lock closure and dewatering, for large scale repairs and maintenance. Please be aware the end date of this closure is outside our published winter stoppage period.|