The first phase of ‘Missing Mile’ canal restoration project
A special event to celebrate the completion of the award-winning A38 Whitminster Roundabout canal restoration project, the first section of the Missing Mile, has been celebrated with a tree planting ceremony.
Andrew Page-Dove, South West Regional Director for National Highways, joined Siobhan Baillie MP, vice-chairman of the Cotswold Canals Trust, and Cllr Vernon Smith, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for highways, to plant trees at the special event.
A commemorative plaque was also unveiled at the pandemic-delayed ceremony to celebrate completion of the National Highways-funded project and the start of the next stage of the Missing Mile – the M5 crossing and digging of the Missing Mile.
Work will start afresh in the new year to progress the ambitious project, which will eventually see a newly restored canal travel under the M5 near Junction 13.
Despite taking place during the pandemic, and with significant challenges including maintaining traffic flows on a busy roundabout, the teams delivered the works on time, and recently won two awards at the Institute of Civil Engineers South West Awards 2021: The People’s Choice award and Project Under £8million Award.
The rest of the `Missing Mile’ project will see a new canal channel dug between Whitminster and Eastington, crossing under the M5 underpass, the building of 2 new locks and the reconnection to the historic canal channel at Eastington.