Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Fixing the hole where the rain gets in

The dammed off and drained stretch of the canal
Imagine the West Coast Main Line being shut at Crewe. Well substitute Crewe for Birmingham and boats for trains and that's what it's been like for the past couple of weeks. The canal 'highway' that takes boats east to west through the city has been shut.
Two weeks ago a leak was discovered on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal just before it joins the Maine Line and right in the centre of the city. Not just a little leak but one into a railway service tunnel which had the potential to flood New Street Station!
Draining the canal revealed just what a selection of junk finds its way there
The canal was dammed and fifty yards pumped dry to trace the source – and discovering quantities of scrap metal, old tyres and other detritus that had been buried in the silt.
Digging down through the silt to expose the clay bed 
It could have been a long job with disastrous consequences for the local canal trade, hire boaters and anyone else wanting to pass through this busy route.
But fortunately the source of the leak has just been found and today workers began the messy job of digging down through the silt to uncover the clay lined bed of the canal and re-seal it. All being well, it should re-open middle of next week.

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