The Canal and Rivers Trust has confirmed that work on the next phase to repair the breach in the Shropshire Union Canal at Middlewich has got underway.
The breach occurred in March when a 12m section of the embankment collapsed after lock gates were left open causing the canal to overflow.
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The cost of the £3M repairs is being supplement by grants from the People’s Postcode Lottery and a public appeal that has already raised £25,000.
Cofferdams have already been constructed on either side of the breach and work is now underway to reconstruct the embankment using a flexible PVC membrane and a fibre reinforced lining.
The trust said that it is hoping to reopen the canal by Christmas.
“A great deal of work has been completed to get to the point where we can actually start to repair this huge hole,” said Canal and Rivers Trust senior project manager Andy Johnson. “Behind the scenes, specialists have been ensuring the ecology, heritage and environment around the breach is safe-guarded and engineers have been working on the complex design plan required to repair the canal.
“I’d like to thank everyone over the last few months for their support and kind donations to help us with the repairs. This has really demonstrated the love that people have for the canal which plays an important part in people’s everyday life.”
To contribute to the repair fund, go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/breach or alternatively text LEAK515 to 70070 to donate £5