A temporary repair project to make the damaged spillway at Toddbrook Reservoir safe is due to be completed in the next few weeks.
A temporary repair project to make the damaged spillway at Toddbrook Reservoir safe is due to be completed in the next few weeks. Damage to the spillway was discovered in August 2019, causing residents in Whaley Bridge to be evacuated for several days.
The Canal and River Trust, which looks after the reservoir, has also announced that Arup has been appointed as design consultants for the permanent repairs. The Trust has said the dam was now “secure against any extreme weather event”, according to the BBC.
Once the repairs are complete, footpaths around the reservoir will be reopened to the public until spring next year, when permanent repair works are due to begin.
In August last year, 1,500 residents in Whaley Bridge were forced to leave their homes over fears that the dam could collapse when damage to the spillway was first discovered, posing a risk of flooding the Derbyshire town.
The temporary repair work has seen the dam’s waterproof clay core made more effective with the installation of a concrete ‘cut off beam’, and an enhanced crest wall along the top of the dam.
The work ensures the spillway is secure against any future extreme weather events until the commencement of the permanent repairs, which will cost over £10 million and take approximately three years.
The temporary repair is due to be completed by early August, and engineers are currently completing the final touches with the installation of new pressure relief holes and joint repairs. On-site pumps will remain to remove excess rainwater until the permanent work is complete.
Daniel Greenhalgh, Canal & River Trust North West regional director, said: “We are delighted to have completed this first phase in the restoration of Toddbrook Reservoir.
“We are currently examining a range of potential repair options and the views of local residents are a key part of the decision-making process. We are planning to host a public consultation event in late summer and then confirm the preferred option in the autumn.”
The initial phase of the permanent repairs will begin in spring 2021 at the Todd Brook inlet channel at the head of the reservoir. After the emergency in August 2019, the masonry weir was raised by the installation of mesh baskets filled with sandbags, which will be replaced by a new flow management structure and a footbridge.
High Peak MP Robert Largan welcomed the news that the temporary repairs are nearing completion, and was eager to see the permanent repairs commerce as soon as possible.
“It’s essential that we crack on with the full repair as soon as possible. I’m regularly discussing this with both Ministers and the Canal & River Trust and I’m keen to ensure that we don’t just repair the reservoir but make it even better, looking at the possibility of a hydro scheme and a circular path, that could be of huge benefit to future generations in Whaley Bridge.”
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