Multi-million pound project begins to upgrade Crinan Canal

The scene on November 19 between locks three and four through Ardrishaig

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income.

In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.  The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thanks you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time

We value our content, so access to our full site is only available on subscription.

Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.

And there’s more – your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Already a subscriber?

 

Subscribe Now

The Crinan Canal, known as ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’ is undergoing a major refurbishment, and the first step – draining of the waterway – was well underway last week.

This is the beginning of the first phase of major improvement works along the canal this winter, with £3.7 million being invested by Scottish Canals to replace lock gates in the eastern section, requiring a full canal closure and drain down of the whole eastern section from lock eight at Cairnbaan to sea lock one in Ardrishaig. Works will be undertaken by contractor AmcoGiffen between November 2020 and March 2021.

The canal has been identified as priority for gate replacement due to ‘condition, age and criticality’. Initial surveys in 2019 led to design work focused on new steel gates for locks one to four.

Work will also begin this winter on designs for locks along the western section of the canal to Crinan, development of upgrades to Cairnbaan Bridge and modifications to both Crinan Ferry Bridge and Oakfield Bridge.

Scottish Canals estimates that the total investment needed to upgrade the infrastructure on the Crinan Canal, including the replacement of all canal gates, is approximately £8-12 million. The entire project is expected to take three years to complete.

Dredging will also be undertaken at Ardrishaig Harbour and other locations along the canal between January and March 2021, boosted by £1 million of additional Scottish Government funding to Scottish Canals to undertake dredging in both the Crinan and Caledonian canals.