Life span of 50 years for lockgates
New long-life lock gates are to be trialled on the Kennet & Avon Canal.
The gates are an evolution of the composite gates – made out of steel and timber – that are used in some places on the Canal & River Trust’s waterways.
In developing the gates, the Canal & River Trust has consulted with the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust about the design and construction.
Made predominantly out of steel, the new gate design is intended to last at least twice as long as a standard lock gate, with an anticipated life span of over 50 years and reduced repairs anticipated.
“The canals were built over 200 years ago and it’s a testament to the original engineers that their designs have stood the test of time,” said Richard Wakelen, head of asset management at the Canal & River Trust.
“Now, with modern technology, we can trial some improvements that could make things better for boaters while making the best use of our resources.”
The new gates have been designed with sacrificial parts such as the sections where the gates meet to be watertight.
Being sacrificial they can be removed and replaced without draining the canal or removing the gates.
The gates are currently being installed at Picketsfield Lock near Hungerford.
They will retain the same paddle gearing, the same fixings and the same steel balance beam and so will resemble the current gate giving boaters and visitors the look and feel of a ‘classic’ lock gate.
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