Loxwood new Lock - 1

The national strategy of the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities is to connect Kendal in Cumbria to Littlehampton by broad canal. Not waiting for the starting gun, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust started construction in 2005 on one of its most difficult challenges.

The canal bridge in Loxwood High Street (the B2133) was removed some time after the canal was closed in 1871.

To get the canal across the road now involves:

  • Lowering 400 yards of canal and reducing the lift of Brewhurst Lock to 2 feet. (scheduled to start July 2006). Some of the offside bank needs supporting once the canal is lowered and the piling was done in November 2005 to achieve this. building a new lock to bring the canal water level back up the necessary 6 feet, to the design level (work began in June 2005: see Loxwood Lock).
  • Diverting the sewer, water-main and BT cables. Much of the sewer diversion (manholes and interconnection but not the connection to the system) was completed in November 2005. The full connection of the sewer will take place in September 2006 after the canalbed has been lowered. The water- main and BT diversions will be done when the road bridge is built in 2007.
  • Building a bridge/ tunnel, 20 metres long, to take the lowered canal under the road which will remain at its present height. The new bridge/tunnel will also have pedestrian access to provide a safe crossing of the road on foot.

The new lock is being constructed entirely by local and Waterway Restoration Group volunteers. At the end of 2005 the project was on time and within budget. The money to achieve the work so far all has come largely from members but also from generous grants from charitable trusts. The work to be done in 2006 will be helped by a 4250 grant from the Inland Waterways Association. There have, so far, been no grants from central or local government nor has the project caught the eye of those who judge how National Lottery money is spent. If you would like to help, or would like information on the most tax-efficient ways to do so, please contact WACT's Hon Treasurer on treasurer@weyandarun.co.uk

For further information on the levels required to pass under the road click Here ...


The site of the lock in June 2005 before work starts. (Photo: Eric Walker)

Removal of the sludge prior to starting to excavate. (Photo: Eric Walker)

The site of the lock is cleared. (Photo: Sally Schupke)

Sheet piling being driven on each side of the lock. This is about a third of the number a piles which will be required.

A closeup of the hydraulically driven head. This method of driving is much quieter than older methods which allowed a heavy weight to drop onto a cap placed on the top edge of the pile.

A view of the site looking towards Loxwood High Street, the B2133.

A massive hole is now being dug between the rows of sheet piling. Picture taken on June 30, 2005.

The depth of the excavation can be judged from the height of the man. It is 2.7m (8ft 11in) deep, 7.7m (22ft 3in) wide between piles and 41.9m (137ft 6in) long

Mike checks the depth. The excavation is being made to tight tolerances. Too deep and more concrete has to be used. Too shallow and the required final depth of the lock will not be met. The bottom of the excavation is to be covered with a 'blinding' layer of concrete 50 to 75mm thick. Blinding is a layer of concrete made to a weak mix on which all the other structures stand. To avoid problems it has to be as level and flat as possible

July 6 and the excavation for the lock is complete. The contractors and their machinery have left the site. (Photo: Richard Elmsley)

Strips of blinding concrete are being placed along the edges (shown on right of picture) to act as a guide for blinding the main area. As can be seen, the weather has not helped leaving the work area very muddy. The levels for the blinding layer have to be established with high accuracy, hence the need to frequently check as shown here. (Photo: Richard Elmsley)

Final preparations for the blinding pour. (Photo: Eric Walker)

The blinding pour well underway with at least half the surface already tamped and levelled. By mid afternoon the blinding was complete. The site is now ready for the work camp to begin on July 9. (Photo: Eric Walker)

Picture taken on Sunday evening July 10, 2005. The work camp has already made a start on preparing the reinforcing mesh for the concrete base. (Photo: Andy Keene)

Photos: Richard Crook, unless otherwise stated.

Part 2 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Part 3 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Part 4 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Part 5 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Part 6 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Part 7 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Part 8 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Part 9 of Loxwood Lock construction.
Piling on the Onslow Pound.
Lowering Brewhurst lock.
Lowering Brewhurst lock Part 2.
Lowering Onslow Pound Part 1.
Lowering Onslow Pound Part 2.
Lowering Onslow Pound Part 3.

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Last updated July 16, 2007