Trent & Mersey breach at Croxton completed ahead of schedule

The Canal & River Trust is today (Tuesday 27 ) re-opening a 12 mile section of the Trent & Mersey Canal five weeks ahead of schedule following serious damage caused by the exceptionally heavy rainfall in September.

The Trust has invested nearly £400k to fix the damaged embankment at Croxton following the extreme weather conditions. Contractors have now completed the main repair works ahead of schedule enabling the canal to be re-opened between Middlewich and Dutton.

Anyone wishing to support this emergency appeal to repair the breach can log on to or alternately text BREACH to 70800. Every penny donated will go directly to repairing the canal.

Following the breach at Dutton Hollow near Preston Brook and damaged embankment at Croxton, temporary dams were put in place at Croxton closing access to a12 mile length of canal between the Croxton and the breach at Dutton. Fencing was also put in place to prevent towpath users accessing the breach site. Now the dams and fencing have been removed opening up navigation to Dutton.

Works to rebuild the embankment included, the construction of new stone foundations, then reconstruction of the embankment. This was then finished with the installation of a specialist ‘enkamat’- a flexible three-dimensional mat – which has been fitted over the new embankment. Concrete works to increase the height of the crest of the embankment, and also the free board have also been completed which will help eradicate the low point on the wash wall and reduce the chance of the canal over topping again at this point.

The charity, which cares for 2,000 miles of canals, rivers and docks in England and Wales, is covering the cost of the repairs from its contingency fund but this will divert money from other maintenance and improvement works.

Paul Brown, project manager for the Canal & River Trust, explains: “Our contractors have worked extremely hard over the last few weeks to repair the badly damaged embankment. I’m delighted that we have finished the works ahead of schedule and we can now re-open 12 miles of canal. We will now be focussing all our efforts to repair the major breach at Dutton.”

Walter Menzies, Chairman of the Canal & River Trust’s Manchester & Pennines Partnership, adds “As a new charity the Trust has been overwhelmed by the support and kind donations we have received to help us with the repairs. This incident has served as a real life demonstration of the love that people have for canals, an important part of the nation’s heritage, and we very much hope their support will continue.”

Engineers are currently completing the designs for the reconstruction works at the Dutton breach. Over the next week contractors will begin works to gain access to the site allowing repair works to start.

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