Call That A Pontoon! Breach 18

Tilly is getting more and more demanding to go for walks, it is getting so I can’t actually do any work until we’ve been to have a look at the trees. I have tried suggesting she takes up a hobby, something like macramé, but she’s not too keen on that idea. Any how, when we returned I decided to have an early lunch and check the world of social media, up popped a link to new drone footage from the breach site. Thank you Mark.

It looks like there has been quite a bit of activity.

The roadway that had been laid across the field from the base has been extended onto the towpath. Here a pile of aggregate has been added into the side of the canal along with a mound of clay. Could this be where they plan on building one of the dams? Or are they just widening the towpath?

The roadway and footpath from the site base compound

A footpath has also been laid next to the roadway. A digger looked like it was reinforcing the access over a drain by the road. Are these extra roadway sections lying in the field by the roadway? Or are they piles waiting to build the coffer dams?

On the other side of the canal new hard core has also gone down. Presumably the track to where the pumps are helping to keep the level in the drain down, was getting far too muddy. An area has also been covered with hardcore on this side, possibly for machinery when they start to build the dams. A digger was busy, maybe dredging the edge where one of the dams will cross to.

Pegs around the faded grass to the left

Looking at the area where the breach is, where there was/is a small hole through the grass, marker pegs can be seen. This suggests the area around the hole is unstable.

Less of the blue tarp showing above the water

Comparing Marks photos from about two weeks ago to todays it looks like the canal level is up by just a bit. A bag of aggregate and the blue tarp seem to be sat a little lower in the water than they were before.

Now that is one big pontoon

C&RT in their update had mentioned pontoons that they were setting up and sailing down to site. Now there are pontoons, and then there are huge PONTOONS. This is one of the latter. It looks like there are two large poles (for want of a better term) lying on the top of the sections. These are likely to be lowered through a couple of holes in the pontoon and used to anchor it in position. Back in September we saw a similar pontoon being used near Doncaster.

Mark was informed this morning that the piling for the dams will start to go in over the next couple of weeks, then the area between the dams will be dewatered towards the end of February, weather permitting.

Thank you again Mark for the use of your photos.