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New cut of canal at Tickner's Heath

Volunteers at Tickner’s Heath have reached a ground breaking moment in the road crossing project at Alfold in Surrey. After a just year the team have completed the footbridge, which is now protected by a temporary cover, and begun excavating the canal below.

The team, which includes four Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award students, first cropped the piles to height and then excavated to a 4 metre depth, ahead of concreting the canal floor and reinforcing the retaining walls.

The new canal channel will eventually be some 200 yards long and curve around to rejoin the original canal to the west of the old crossing. The last 100 yards of the existing canal will become redundant and partially filled with clay excavated from the new cut, and the area will then be landscaped with areas of wetland and replacement tree planting.

It is hoped to substantially complete the north side of the project by the end of October when attention can turn to constructing the road bridge. The new bridge will be within the width of the existing highway so a short length of temporary road will be built to take traffic around the bridge site. The footbridge has been designed to carry a water main and this is due to be diverted from beneath the existing road crossing.

The current restoration work is the first of two phases and the Trust is now in the process of preparing the planning application for stage 2, which will propose a new canal cut to connect the stage 1 canal to the existing canal west of Dunsfold Road, a new canal bridge to carry the forest track to Sidney Wood across the new canal cut and a new footpath link alongside Dunsfold Road.

 

Gill Davies
Date: 
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
  • And the digging begins...
  • It's all hands to the pump when excavating begins.
  • The excavation reveals the layers of clay found in this part of Surrey.
  • The footbridge is complete and waiting to take the diverted water main.