THE Montgomery Canal Restoration Project won the Community Engagement Award at the 2021 Ground Engineering Awards Ceremony held recently in London.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project near Crickheath involves rebuilding a section of canal channel across very bad ground including an area that was a peat bog. The original canal channel in the area had mostly disappeared due to subsidence and the challenge was to reinstate the canal banks in such a way as to avoid further subsidence in future.
The technique used was to build oversized banks weighed down with water-filled tanks over the peat areas. This induced subsidence both quickly and irreversibly after which the banks were reduced to their finish shape.
Consulting geotechnics engineers Arcadis, provided a design solution in conjunction with Canal & River Trust which was suitable for construction by volunteers. The Shropshire Union Canal Society acted as contractors to deliver the technically complex work.
SUCS project manager David Carter said: “It is rather surreal to see a volunteer organisation such as ours win a national award like this and beating many construction industry household names in the process.
“We are very grateful to the staffs of both Arcadis and Canal & River Trust for their help and guidance during this work. It has been a real team effort.”
On site for two three-day work parties a month the 40-strong volunteer group has now completed the critical work. Finishing work on the project will go on into next year,
The Ground Engineering Awards Ceremony celebrates the achievements of projects, people, and businesses working across Geotechnical Engineering. The GE Awards are open to any business/project and attracts the biggest names in main contracting, consultants, geo-technics, ground investigation specialists, suppliers and manufacturers.