Ness Weir safeguarded for 100 years

Ness Weir Ness Weir has been strengthened with 10,000m of steel piling

A £2m project to reinforce Caledonian Canal’s 200-year-old Ness Weir has safeguarded the structure for another century.

The Thomas Telford-designed weir, which raises the water level of Loch Dochfour by almost 2m and Loch Ness by 1.2m, has been strengthened with 10,000m of steel piling in a Scottish Government-funded project carried out by custodians Scottish Canals.

“Thanks to the hard work of our engineers and contractors and the investment of the Scottish Government, this project has safeguarded one of the canal’s most important engineering structures, ensuring the rich built heritage of Thomas Telford’s Ness Weir is cared for into the next century and beyond,” explained Richard Millar, director of infrastructure at Scottish Canals.

Key structure

Constructed between 1825 and 1830, Ness Weir holds back around 100 million cubic metres of water and sits at the mouth of Loch Dochfour and the River Ness near Inverness.

Over a period of eight months engineers used more than 1,000 tonnes of rock to construct a temporary access road, a helicopter to install a temporary ‘fish pass’ to retain the link between the River Ness and the mouth of Loch Dochfour and more than 800 tonnes of steel to reinforce the weir.

The continued service of the weir allows vessels to make the journey from Dochgarroch, through Loch Dochfour and into Loch Ness each year.

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