The Canal & River Trust has been busy with bridge repairs over the last few weeks, as the West India Dock’s historic lock gates needs essential work to be carried out so they can continue enabling vessels from all over the world to enter London’s Docklands.
The £920,000 project will include upgrading the gates so they’re better able to withstand salt water corrosion from the Thames, improving the pintel on the lock bed and relining the underwater seals in order to make the lock between the bottom of the gates and the lock bed watertight.
The gates themselves, which date back to 1929, weigh 160 tonnes each and they’re so heavy that they need to be floated out of position, instead of being craned out.
Canal & River Trust project manager Colin Perkins said: “The chance to make these repairs is a once in a generation opportunity … The work is very technical, particularly because of the size of the gates and weight of thousands of cubic metres of water, as well as the tidal pressure of the Thames.”
This project is the biggest part of the Trust’s programme to improve the UK’s waterways. Thus far, lock gates in Mile End and Kentish Town have been repaired.
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