Scotland's longest canal: KGAL advising on 21st Century upgrades for 19th Century asset.
Following the natural fault line of the Great Glen, Scotland’s Caledonian Canal connects the east coast at Inverness with the west coast at Corpach near Fort William. Only a third of the canal’s 60 mile length is artificial; the rest being naturally formed by Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy. There are 40 pairs of lock gates including six pairs at Fort Augustus and nine pairs forming Neptune’s Staircase at Corpach; they were all mechanised between 1964 and 1969.
Scottish Canals, the public corporation of the Scottish Government responsible for managing the country's inland waterways, is considering further improvements to the lock gates. AECOM has appointed KGAL on behalf of Scottish Canals to carry out an options study on the mechanical and hydraulic aspects of the existing lock gate operating systems. The study will consider many practical alternatives, some of which were not available when the gates were originally mechanised. The options study will consider costs, buildability within a listed structure, reliability, ease of operation and reduced maintenance requirements. After a thorough review of all the options identified, Scottish Canals will select a preferred system for development towards detailed design and tendering.
AECOM is responsible for the civil, electrical and control aspects of the project so close liaison and teamwork between KGAL, AECOM and Scottish Canals is required to ensure a robust, functional design is developed, suitable for replacement of all the existing lock gate operating mechanisms.
The pictures show several views of the gates at Gairlochy.