Canal still out of bounds af­ter leak

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

MAC­CLES­FIELD Canal re­mains closed to boaters and walk­ers as en­gi­neers at­tempt to fix a leak.

Tem­po­rary dams had to be in­stalled and fish moved to safety fol­low­ing the leak from Mac­cles­field Canal at Bolling­ton two weeks ago.

The Canal and River Trust has been car­ry­ing out emer­gency re­pairs af­ter staff dis­cov­ered a leak, block­ing the way for hun­dreds of boats.

The tow­path is also closed to pedes­tri­ans.

The af­fected section of the canal has now been drained and tem­po­rary dams have been in­stalled at ei­ther end of a 750me­tre section of the canal, be­tween bridges 26 at Hole­house Lane and 27 at Grimshaw Lane.

Af­ter build­ing a spe­cial road us­ing ‘bog mats’ to get ex­ca­va­tors and other equip­ment into the bot­tom of the canal, con­trac- tors are now un­der­way with re­pairs to fix the canal.

David Bal­dacchino, Canal and River Trust wa­ter­way man­ager, said: “The Mac­cles­field Canal is ex­tremely pop­u­lar for boaters and it is an im­por­tant part of the lo­cal com- mu­nity.

“Un­for­tu­nately th­ese sorts of things can hap­pen to a struc­ture which is nearly 200 years old but we are tak­ing swift ac­tion to re­pair it.

“While a def­i­nite date for re­open­ing can’t be given right now, we hope it won’t take too long to sort out.

“The spe­cial­ist team car­ry­ing out the fish res­cue were amazed at the num­ber of fish in the canal. Large quan­ti­ties of perch, roach and bream have been res­cued from this stretch, which is very en­cour­ag­ing in terms of the canal’s gen­eral wa­ter qual­ity.”

David Thorne, Canal and River Trust project man­ager, said: “Our con­trac­tors, Kier, will be work­ing hard to carry out th­ese emer­gency re­pairs as speed­ily as pos­si­ble.

“We plan to re­move silt, re­pair dam­aged ar­eas and then back­fill with clay to the nor­mal canal bed level.

“Over the next week or so we ex­pect to con­tinue a process of in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­pairs, ex­tend­ing the road in the canal bed as we go along.

“This is a pre­cise process, as ac­cess is dif­fi­cult and it is a rel­a­tively con­fined lo­ca­tion, but we’re hop­ing to get the canal re­opened soon.”

The tow­path is closed dur­ing the emer­gency re­pairs, with di­ver­sions in place.

Up­dates will be avail­able at canal­rivertrust.org. uk or by ring­ing 0303 040 4040. ●● GROUP formed to main­tain section of canal - see page 11.

●● Mac­cles­field Canal has been closed to boaters and pedes­tri­ans since it

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