Ivor King helping with repairs to historic waterway
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal scales the Pennines and its summit is the highest stretch of canal in Britain. Some 19 miles in length, it crosses the Pennines by means of 74 locks and the Standedge Tunnel, recognised as the longest canal tunnel in the United Kingdom.
The canal opened in 1811 and operated for approximately 140 years, following which the waterway became disused and fell into disrepair. However, after 27 years of campaigning and restoration by the Huddersfield Canal Society, the canal was fully re-opened to navigation in 2001 and is now entirely used by leisure boaters.
Crumbing wash wall in need of remedial work
The towpath alongside the canal at Slaithwaite provides access for not only pedestrians, but also vehicles making deliveries to and from adjacent businesses. Drivers often pass very close to the edge of the wash wall, causing it to overturn and crumble away at its outer edges. This section of wall having been deemed to be substandard and at risk of further serious damage needed remedial work, so a new retaining wall is being put in place to shore up the wash wall.
We have been installing approximately 210 linear metres of steel sheet piles using an excavator mounted Movax attachment, operating from the towpath alongside the canal. The void between the new sheet piled wall and the existing damaged wash wall is then backfilled with concrete to complete the repairs, at which point access can be fully restored.
It’s not the first time Ivor King has worked on the canal, having completed some nearby piling works back in 2001 to enable reopening of the Navigation.
The sheet piles have a design life of around 100 years, which means the canal can be enjoyed by future generations for many years to come.