Scottish Canals is undertaking vital winter engineering works in Linlithgow, which will safeguard the rich heritage of this stretch of the Union Canal.
As part of a Scotland-wide programme of winter maintenance, the canal custodians are carrying out embankment improvements along the 200-year-old waterway. The improvements follow the detailed embankment surveys carried out by Scottish Canals in 2017, which saw the water level of the waterway drained down over a five kilometre stretch, and around 30,000 cubic metres of water drained from the canal.
These embankment works were identified as a priority for Scottish Canals, under their Asset Management Strategy. This strategy identifies where Scottish Canals’ limited resources will be directed, prioritising works that ensure the safety of the public and bring the widest possible benefits for all the people of Scotland. In Linlithgow, the canal body recognised the potential impact any failures would have on the town but also the need to safeguard the rich history and heritage of Linlithgow.
The winter programme involves two phases of vital works to strengthen the canal embankment. The first phase began earlier this month, and will run for 14 weeks, with 160m of sheet piling being installed along the canal near to Linlithgow Academy, next to Preston Road.
A signed towpath diversion is in place for pedestrians and cyclists during the phase one programme, which also includes Christmas and the New Year. This diversion follows Golfcourse Road, Braehead Terrace, Braehead Place, Braehead Road and Preston Road.
The canal is also closed to navigation, with dam structures in place at both Bridge 45 and Bridge 48 to enable a partial dewatering of the canal. In addition to strengthening the canal embankment, these works will also create four residential and four leisure/visitor moorings.
The second phase of improvements will begin on 14th January 2019, involving further sheet piling along the embankment at Manse Road East, and is anticipated to finish in the first half of April 2019.
More information on the project can be found at https://bit.ly/WorksLinlithgow
For a look at the history of the Union Canal, see https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/heritage/union-canal/