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Only lock on Witham Navigable Drains upgraded

Cowbridge Lock, the only one on the the Witham Navigable Drains has just been subject to an eight-month, £70,000 upgrade.

While Anton’s Gowt Lock, under the control of CRT, gives access from the River Witham to the western drains, under the jurisdiction of the Witham Fourth District Inland Drainage Board, to access the Maud Foster and the Stonebridge drains, controlled by the Environment Agency, boats must pass through Cowbridge Lock.

A routine structural survey in 2011 of this 1940s lock revealed deterioration, largely due to metal fatigue of the superstructure and guillotine gate. 

In conjunction with Dave Carnell, IWA representative for the East Midlands, helped draw up a refurbishment programme to ensure that not only would this vital link lock continue to allow access to the Witham Navigable Drains north of Boston but it should continue to protect the Maud Foster Drain -- and thus the northern parts of Boston -- from flooding.

Work included removing and overhauling the worn lock machinery, replacing the gate counterweight, renewing upright supports, replacing cross braces, fitting a new 4.5-tonne guillotine gate, shot blasting the entire structure that was not being scrapped, and repainting. To enable these works, the lock required damming off at both ends, scaffold to be erected in and around the lock to enable dismantling and reconstruction works using a 27-tonne crane, which had to gain access across the eighth tee of the adjacent golf course.

Work is now complete and the lock is once again available to boats.

Wednesday 3 April  | Andrew Denny  | 4.31pm, Wednesday 3 April 2013

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