£1.2m plan to improve Nene sluice
A LANDMARK flood defence on the River Nene is being given a major £1.2 million facelift.
The Environment Agency’s works to repair and refurbish the Dog In A Doublet sluice, located almost five miles downstream of Peterborough, are now underway.
The sluice forms the furthest point of the river’s tidal defences and controls the river levels further upstream towards the city.
But it is currently not fully functioning and needs to be returned to working order. If it should fail, salt water could pass through and cause environmental problems and prevent irrigation of farmland.
Elisha Tafirenyika, from the Environment Agency, said: “It is not fully operational because the north sluice is jammed and deteriorating.
“This work will ensure that the sluice and lock remain in good working order – both for boaters on the River Nene and flood risk management purposes – for years to come.”
The scheme includes the refurbishing and painting of the sluice gates, which are 9.1m wide and 5.5m high, replacement of the lower guide wheel assemblies, repairs to the guide rails and new weed screens to prevent debris lodging in the gates.
The lock will be closed to boats for more than a week in October while they replace electrical systems.
Ms Tafirenyika said: “We have timed the closure to coincide with the end of the boating season to try to minimise disruption to river users.
“While we understand this closure may cause some inconvenience, these works are vital if the sluice and lock are going to continue to fulfil their purpose.
“If the sluice were to fail, its tidal location would cause the upstream channel to become salty, preventing water abstraction for irrigation, causing potential damage to the neighbouring Site of Special Scientific Interest and preventing us from being able to control river levels for navigation.”
The refurbishment works are expected to be completed in January 2011.