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Midway Boats/Barbridge Marina is OPEN AS USUAL.
Our stretch of canal is unaffected by the Middlewich Branch breach.
Updated March 22, 2018

Breach of the Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union Canal

The problems are at the Middlewich Town end of this canal branch and Midway Boats are OPEN AS USUAL and our section of the canal, moorings and facilities are unaffected by this breach.
It does however mean that for the time being navigation is restricted to the North / South direction routes of the main Shropshire Union Canal and between Barbridge Junction and Stanthorne Lock on the Middlewich Branch until repairs can be completed.

Middlewich Branch Canal Breach

Below, are new reports from the Canal & River Trust website .....

Breach of the Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union Canal

What's happened?

Part of the Shropshire Union Canal has collapsed, causing water to drain from the canal. While events such as this are rare - they are very expensive to repair. Our emergency engineers were quickly on the scene, but the collapse has impacted people and wildlife and we need to rebuild as quickly as possible.

23 March update ...

Principal engineer, Mark Durham, talks about what we've been up to on site over the last couple of days.

21 March update ...

Volunteer group SUMBA (Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch Association) worked really hard alongside our local customer operations team clearing as much rubbish as possible from the bed of the drained canal. You can see from the photo just how much has accumulated in this short stretch.

We've installed a portadam downstream of Stanthorne Lock to start the process of re-watering the section. This will be done using three, six inch pumps which will pump water from the Trent & Mersey Canal by Wardle Lock to enable the stranded boats to be re-floated and allow them access onto the Trent & Mersey Canal. The pumps will be arriving by boat today and it is anticipated that pumping will start on Thursday morning.

19 March update ...

Project team manager, Clive Mitchell, has been at the site of the breach and gives a brief update in the short video below on the damage and what we're currently doing on-site.

17 March update ...

Fast action by emergency staff has resulted in nearly 10,000 fish being rescued from the stretch of canal in Middlewich affected by the breach.

MEM Fisheries staff spent a full day on Saturday rescuing roach, perch, gudgeon, bream and eels from the three quarter mile length between Stanthorne Lock and Wardle Lock on the Shropshire Union Canal Middlewich Branch, which has been drained.

They collected the affected fish, including a massive 4lb eel, into large buckets and then released them back into water further along the canal beyond Wardle Lock, towards Middlewich town centre.

16 March update ...

Our emergency engineers were on site all night dealing with the breach, and the canal is currently drained between Stanthorne Lock and Wardle Lock, on the south side of Middlewich town centre, a distance of just over three quarters of a mile. The towpath has also been closed along this stretch.

We believe only one householder may be affected, with minor damage to their garden.

Between 15 and 20 boats are within the drained section and The Trust will be contacting all the owners today with offers of assistance.

The Middlewich Branch connects the Trent & Mersey Canal just south of Middlewich town to the Shropshire Union Canal at Barbridge Junction, a distance of about 10 miles. Constructed in 1827, it is nearly 200 years old.

Today our engineers are on site trying to understand the cause of the breach and will be making an initial assessment regarding how to progress repairs, likely timescales and costs.


To stay up to date with further News of this breach, visit the Canal & River Trust website at "https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/news"


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