Delay to Caledonian Canal sea-to-sea transits

Update 9th May 2022

We are pleased to advise that the lock gate replacement works at Cullochy are proceeding well and are therefore scheduled to reopen one day earlier than recently planned – the canal will therefore reopen to sea to sea traffic at 08:30am on Thursday 19th May 2022.

Other works currently underway at Kytra lock will be complete for reopening at 08:30am on Friday 13th May 2022.

Update 25th April 2022

The revised work at Cullochy Lock is progressing on schedule. Following the placement of the new lock gates on Friday 22nd April, we can confirm that the Caledonian Canal will reopen to sea-to-sea navigation at Cullochy on Friday 20th May 2022. Contractors will now continue with the revised programme for rewatering.

We will update this page as the works near completion.

Update 19th April 2022

Further to our announcement on 23rd March, we can confirm that the revised work plan at Cullochy Lock is proceeding as had been previously agreed.  The new lock gates are expected to be lifted into place at Cullochy at the end of this week and it is at this stage that our contractors will be able determine whether the urgent remedial work was successful. This will lead to a definitive date for re-opening for boat movements which we will be able to share on 26th April.

 

It is with considerable regret that we have to advise you that we have been informed by our contractors (Mackenzie Construction) that, due to technical challenges with the refurbishment of the lock gates at Cullochy, we will be unable to open to canal for the passage of boats through Cullochy lock , and for sea to sea navigation, as was planned for 15th April.

Due to challenges that have been experienced with the structural installations and integrity of the downstream lock gate heelposts and historic structure interface, we have just been advised that it will be necessary to extend the duration of dewatering and subsequent restoration of the navigation.

Please be assured that our contractors are doing everything within their power to fast-track all elements of the supply, delivery, and installation including prioritisation of additional items from suppliers and revising the programme for rewatering. However, even with these enhanced programme of works, the re-opening of the canal through Cullochy is now planned for 16th – 20th May.

We fully understand that this delay to opening will have a significant impact on many of  our boating customers, most significantly our commercial operators, our transit customers and those customers based on the canal and wishing to use the full canal or to head to the west coast at the start of the boating season.

In discussion with our engineering colleagues, our contractors have considered all possible options to avoid this delay to opening and, if there was any way in which we could re-open earlier we would have done so. However, it is only by fully completing the work with this impact on timescales that we can have absolute confidence in respect of the long term operational integrity of the lock gates and not risk further disruption to our customers later in the season.

We will also be posting this information on the Scottish Canals website today, so please look out for further updates. We will have a substantial review on 18th April and will confirm at that time the definitive date we plan to re-open to navigation – i.e. 16th or 20th May.

In the interim, we will open the canal for local navigation either side of Cullochy, as planned, this Friday (25th March).

Please accept our sincerest apologies for this delay to, or cancellation of, itineraries and holidays. This is a situation we would have wished to avoid if at all possible and we will work closely with our contractors to ensure that the works at Cullochy are completed as soon as possible.

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