Here is an update on the Leeds and Liverpool stoppage at Rishton in Lancashire.
( For 10th October update, see below. )
On September 11th residents reported that a section of towpath had collapsed between Rishton and the M65 Aqueduct. The Canal and River Trust investigated and found that there was a significant leakage though the culvert running below the canal at this point. Had the leaks been allowed to continue the result could have been a major breach of the canal into the River Hyndburn.
The canal was immediately closed and dams constructed so that the affected area could be de-watered.
The Canal and River Trust's further investigation found that unseen leakage through the canal bed has resulted in internal erosion of the embankment. This erosion has caused deep sink holes on the bed of the canal and had led to the embankment collapse.
The repair work will include stabilisation of the embankment, relining the canal bed and reconstruction of the towpath and wash wall. The work will cost around £300,000 and should be complete by the end of November.
A temporary access road has been created and a site compound and cabins installed.
This week the silt is being excavated and bog mats laid in the canal bed. The excavator will then be used to investigate and infill the sinks holes within the canal bed. Further updates will be issued in due course.
Boaters forced to overstay by the stoppage should notify the Canal and River Trust so that no enforcement action is taken.
Update Wednesday 23rd October:
It is expected that the canal will be re-opened for navigation on 21st November.
The original towpath collapse. Photo: Canal & River Trust
Dewatered site showing collapsed towpath opposite. Photo: Canal & River Trust
Dewatered site showing temporary dam. Photo: Canal & River Trust
Update Thursday 10th October:
The Canal and River Trust reports that its team has continued with works to excavate a large depth of silt from a 40m length of the canal bed, with the silt being taken off site.
Pumps are being installed to pump water past the site to feed the canal downstream of the affected area.
The sink holes in the canal bed have been excavated, revealing the leakage paths which are shown by bands and pockets of silt. The sink holes have been backfilled with clay and levelled. The full canal profile is now being got ready for re-lining. The culvert lining is being made in Germany and will be shipped towards the end of the construction works.
The Canal and River Trust anticipates that the area will be re-opened for mid-November.
Update Monday 25th November:
The canal has now re-opened to navigation at this location. The towpath remains closed, probably until Friday 29th November.