'Design and methodology' closes 'Nine' for a further two weeks

Published: Friday, 02 July 2021

THE continuing fiasco at a 'Rochdale Nine' lock means that boaters are stuck for a further two weeks.

It was on the 17th June that a gate on Lock 85 on the 'Rochdale Nine' through Manchester failed, and though various attempts have been made to fix it by designing a replacement steel bracket that was eventually approved and fabricated it has not solved the problem, Keith Gudgin reports.

r tunnel 85 2Trying to create a method of repair

We are now told that Canal & River Trust's specialist teams have met on site to further inspect the lock gate and, whilst trying to create a method of repair, they have noted further severe deterioration to the gate.

This means they are unable to use a crane to get the gate out owing to the underground location of the lock, so are now having to develop a 'new design and methodology' which will allow the gate to be removed. This will take up to two weeks.

Boaters stuck

While the 'committee' decide how to get the gate out, there is no intimation of how long it will take if it has to be taken away for repair then eventually replaced, with an ever increasing number of boaters stuck at either end of the stoppage in the middle of Manchester, many of whom will have to leave their boats unattended, with our Keith remarking:

"Its so bloody ridiculous, it would be funny if it wasn't so stupid.

"Surely they've done it before, oh yes, I remember, they dropped it into the lock and had to get a special (and expensive) crane to get it out. Well it'll not work this time, it's under buildings so no access for a crane!

"An 'A' frame and some block & tackle. There you are, done it for you, no need for a committee just a bit of common sense!"