The Crinan Canal is one of Argyll & Bute’s most popular visitor attractions with over 1,600 boats transiting the canal each year.
Scottish Canals has a prioritised asset management programme for all lock gates in Scotland, based on condition and risk. The full Crinan Canal has been identified as priority for gate replacement due to condition, age and criticality. Upgrading and replacement of the lock gates along the canal is vital to maintain the navigation of this historic waterway and any failure during operation could lead to serious health and safety implications.
Surveys and design works for the new steel gates for Locks 1 to 7 have already been completed. Within our winter stoppage programme for 2020-21, we will progress fabrication and installation of lock gates 1 to 4 between November 2020 and April 2021, requiring a full canal closure and drain down.
The installation works will begin in November 2020. The canal will be closed to navigation for the duration of the installation works, and there may be restrictions in the towpath.
Update 22nd April 2021
Due to the scale of works and complexity of delivering these significant improvements, our project contractors require a number of days to ensure that we can complete these works safely and to the required standards before returning to navigation. Therefore the canal will not reopen to sea to sea navigation until 13th May 2021.
Update 29th January 2021
Since the beginning of the works, the canal has been dewatered from Lock 8 down to the Sea Lock at Ardrishaig. Over the past month we have removed gates at Lock 1 and 2 and undertaken core drilling of all four quoins at Lock 2. Lock 2 is now ready to accommodate the new stainless steel quoin liners. See the video below published on our social media channels showing Lock 2 being removed by principle contractor AMCO:
This is #EngineeringLikeNoOther ⚙️
This winter we’re replacing gates on the east stretch of the #CrinanCanal to safeguard this asset for the future.
— Scottish Canals (@scottishcanals) January 18, 2021
Update 12th November 2020
Scottish Canals has undertaken fish rescue at the Cairnbaan lock flight, an important environmental aspect of this project. A total of 1,799 fish were relocated this week, comprising seven species in total with the vast majority being minnows and sticklebacks. Other fish rescued include brown trout, eel with smaller numbers of roach, dace and flounder.
This page will be updated as works progress.