Dredging kicks off on Grand Union Canal in Solihull

The Canal & River Trust is kicking off a five month dredging project that will improve a section of the 220 year old Grand Union Canal at Catherine De Barnes between Henwood and Tyseley in the county of West Midlands, UK.

The work involves dredging sections of the canal and installing steel piles along the edge of the towpath making it easier for boaters to navigate and moor.

“Using a long reach excavator, our team will remove mud and silt from the bottom of the canal which has built up over the years. Around 10,000 tons of silt is expected to be removed,” said Canal & River Trust in the release.

The dredged material will be recycled along the canal and used to strengthen the canal bank, which is also being reinforced with 1.8m long steel piles.

At 137 miles, the Grand Union Canal is the longest canal in England & Wales flowing all the way from Birmingham to London. Once a busy transport route transporting coal and cotton from the midlands, the canal nowadays is a peaceful escape right in the heart of towns and cities for millions of people.

Paul Fox, the project manager, commented: “This section of the Grand Union Canal will be made deeper by the dredging ensuring that boaters on this really popular waterway don’t get stuck when navigating. Where sections of the canal bank have eroded away, we will be inserting steel piles into the bed of the canal. Whilst the dredging will go on for some months, the pilling work will be noisy and should take around eight weeks to complete.”

During the works the canal and towpath will remain open.

Photo: Canal & River Trust