Plan to restore Bow Back Rivers

Published: Thursday, 18 May 2017

THE installation of massive double radial lock gates at Carpenters Road Lock in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park makes way for the eventual restoration of the Bow Back Rivers.

The new gates, which weigh over 14 tonnes each, have been swung into position by a 350 tonnes crane, with the work being done by Canal & River Trust.

Bow back riversAround the Olympic Stadium

They are the only double radial lock gates—two convex-shaped gates swing up vertically to enable boats to pass through—anywhere in the country and will provide the opportunity to navigate from the waterways on a small loop around the former Olympic Stadium.

The gates will also ensure that the lock plays an important role in flood prevention, with the gates being automated to enable flood water to be distributed to channels within the Bow Back Rivers.

Heritage Lottery Fund

The project is being led by the Trust and includes £680,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £100,000 from the London Legacy Development Corporation and £4,500 from the Inland Waterways Association. Work has also included repairing the lock walls and rebuilding the counter balance weights that enable the gates to open.

The total cost is £1.8 million.

Carpenters Road Lock was built in the 1930s, however in the second half of the 20thcentury, the Bow Back Rivers fell out of use and the lock became unusable, with the last passage through it by boats recorded in the 1960s. The advent of the London 2012 Games saw major works bringing new life to the waterways in what is now Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Waterway Festival

To celebrate the restoration, the Trust and its partners are planning a range of community events and activities, including an East London Waterway Festival on 28th August, so people can learn about the history of the lock and rivers. The event will include free boat trips, water sports activities and a film screening with Nomad Cinema.