Swing­bridge lifts...

KEN­NET & AVON

Canal Boat - - News -

THE UN­USUAL SIGHT of a swing­bridge open­ing ver­ti­cally up­wards (pic­tured) was a very wel­come sight for boaters who had been trapped the wrong side off an emer­gency bridge clo­sure on the Ken­net & Avon Canal at New­bury. West Mills Swing­bridge had been due to close from Jan­uary to March for re­place­ment of part of its open­ing mech­a­nism, but in the event, the com­po­nent failed in late Septem­ber.

Sug­ges­tions lo­cally that the canal would re­main shut for two months were de­nied by a CRT spokes­woman, who told CB this was a mis­un­der­stand­ing based on the length of the orig­i­nally sched­uled win­ter stop­page.

The ex­act reopening date couldn’t be an­nounced, but the clo­sure was likely to last into early Novem­ber, by which time a sched­uled stop­page would have be­gun at South­cote Lock be­tween there and Read­ing – and, in the mean­time, a queue of boats had built up.

The Trust, there­fore, ar­ranged for a crane to lift the bridge off its bear­ings for sev­eral hours in early Oc­to­ber so that wait­ing boats could pass and the de­fec­tive part could be taken away for re­place­ment.

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