Work under way at Teddington barge lock

A major refurbishment of the largest lock on the non-tidal river is under way.

The project on Teddington barge lock will cost  £700,000, take four to five months and is part of a £3 million programme of works this winter.

The work at Teddington, where the tidal and non-tidal stretches of the river meet, involves repairing the lock sides and replacing timbers.

Paul Power, EA Waterways Engineer for the Thames, said “This lock was built in 1904 and generally we have to make repairs to the structure every 20 to 25 years.

“We tend to carry out the work in the winter months when there is least impact on  river traffic.

“But winter is not the ideal time of year to do river engineering work and on a project like this it probably adds around £100,000 to the cost.”

Work will involve repairing the lock walls where necessary mostly using a system called guniting that involves spraying concrete. Old timbers are being replaced with Ekki, a tropical hardwood.  
The lock will be dammed either end to allow the water levels to be lowered.

Matt Carter, Waterways Operations Manager, said: “This kind of work is absolutely vital in keeping our locks up to standard and fulfilling our statutory duty to maintain the river as a navigable waterway.”

Mr Power who retires this month said the work is part of a continuing programme: " “Back in 2003 we started a programme of greater investment to bring the [facilities] up to standard.

" At that time we had 35% to 38% in poor or critical condition. Today we have only around 5% to 8% in poor condition and nothing in critical condition and that is a very workable figure in asset management.”

Elsewhere on the river work will be undertaken at Grafton, Rushey, Osney, Iffley, Sandford, Abingdon, Culham and at Shepperton. A full list of winter works and river closures HERE

More on Thames engineer Paul Power's retirement HERE

Story dated Nov 12th 2013

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