Bingley Five Rise Locks: New six tonne lock gates fitted at Yorkshire's world-famous ‘wonder of the waterways’
The project is part of the Canal & River Trust’s four-month, £55 million winter works restoration and maintenance programme across the 2,000-mile network of canals and rivers in England and Wales.
Bingley Five Rise Locks, which were completed in 1774, lift boats around 18 metres (60ft), with the five locks operating as a “staircase” flight – with the lower gate of one lock forming the upper gate of the next.
Each gate is seven metres tall and weighs about six tonnes.
The new lock gates have been hand-crafted using traditional methods in the trust’s workshops at Stanley Ferry, near Wakefield.
The trust said a single lock gate can take up to 20 days to make and has a working life of around 25 years.
In order to be watertight they need to be built very precisely, fitting snugly to the masonry of the 200-year-old lock walls.
The charity said it has been working with specialist waterways contractor Rothen Group, which has provided a 40-tonne crane boat to carry out the heavy lifting of the complex lock gate replacement from the water.
Sean McGinley, Yorkshire & North East regional director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “Constructed over two centuries ago, Bingley Five Rise is one of the wonders of the waterways.”
Mr McGinley said: “Each year thousands of boaters and towpath users come here to enjoy spending time on the canal.
“Research proves people feel happier and healthier by water, and more people than ever before are discovering canals and rivers as perfect spots for local recreation and exercise.
“That’s why it’s important we stay on top of regular maintenance and carry out this work in the winter months to try to minimise inconvenience. We want as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful location.”