Ruf­ford re­opens

LEEDS & LIVER­POOL

Canal Boat - - News -

ALTHOUGH AC­CESS DE­LAYS meant the orig­i­nal tar­get open­ing date was missed, the Ruf­ford Branch of the Leeds & Liver­pool has re­opened fol­low­ing the £500,000 re­place­ment of a col­lapsed culvert car­ry­ing a stream un­der the canal bed.

Be­cause the orig­i­nal wooden culvert was be­yond re­pair, re­place­ment pipes had to be laid in the canal bed, but work couldn’t start with­out a fish res­cue, an ecol­ogy sur­vey, En­vi­ron­ment Agency ap­proval, in­stal­la­tion of a site com­pound and al­lowance for ma­chin­ery ac­cess.

It was the last of these that took the most time, thanks to the need for ne­go­ti­a­tions with Net­work Rail to take heavy plant over a level cross­ing. Work fi­nally got un­der way in time for a re-open­ing on 24 Septem­ber – re­con­nect­ing the route to the Rib­ble Link and the Lan­caster Canal. Four of the craft af­fected by the clo­sure had al­ready been trapped by the ear­lier emer­gency stop­page by the Lune Aqueduct on the Lan­caster; the Canal & River Trust ar­ranged for them to be lifted around the stop­page.

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