The Caledonian Canal is one of the Highlands most popular visitor attractions with over 1,400 boats transiting the canal each year.
Maintenance of the lock gates is vital to maintain the navigation of this historic waterway and any failure during operation could lead serious health and safety implications. We have a variety of steel construction and timber construction gates along the network, many of which are now past the design life.
Scottish Canals have a prioritised asset management programme for all lock gates in Scotland, based on condition and risk. Fort Augustus has been identified as priority for gate replacement due to condition, age and criticality.
Design works for the replacement gates have been to maximise the ability to adjust the fitting of the gates and also reduce the maintenance burden on the gates. The gates and walkways have been fabricated and we are now working on a project to install them.
Update 15th January 2019
Works have begun to install a new pair of lock gates at lock 2 and improve the buoyancy at lock gates 3 and 4. The water levels have been dropped between Cullochy Lock to the bottom of Fort Augustus Lock Flight and works are in progress to install localised dams and maintain the low water level. Fish are being safely moved to watered sections of the canal.
Update 12th December 2018
Following detailed inspections of the location, we are now looking to install a new pair of lock gates in Fort Augustus at lock 2 and undertake buoyancy improvement works at gates 3 and 4. Works are planned to start on 14th January and last for three months. To ensure lifting equipment can safely access the site, we need to close the south side road to traffic during these dates. The towpath will remain open to cyclists and walkers during these works.
Update 23rd November 2018
Transport Scotland have announced an additional £5.35 million of capital funding to undertake a number of projects across the network, including the replacement of the lock gates at Fort Augustus.
Update 25th October 2018
In preparation for winter engineering works and to facilitate a full diving inspection of the lock chambers and gates, Fort Augustus lock flight will be closed to boat traffic from Wednesday 31st October, re-opening at 1pm on Friday 2nd November. The local lock keeping team will work hard to minimise disruption to vessels but boaters are asked to please plan their journeys accordingly.