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Work set to begin on revamp of Iffley Lock
THE gates on one of Oxford’s best known locks are set to be replaced from today as part of a major improvement scheme.
Work is set to begin on Iffley Lock as part of a £2.7m programme on the River Thames through Oxfordshire.
The lock will be closed to boaters and its 30-year-old gates will be lifted out and replaced with brand new ones.
Environment Agency spokesman Barry Russell said: “The gates have a lifespan and that has now passed.
“Further up the river we are using steel gates but these will be wooden gates because we are retaining the heritage value of them.
“The gates are hardwood and very resilient and will last at least another 30 to 40 years.”
Barges will be used to transport the huge wooden gates, which have taken eight weeks to construct, down the Thames from the agency’s Osney depot in Oxford.
They will then be lifted into place using cranes, with the project taking until February to complete. A temporary footbridge will be constructed over Iffley Lock to keep the public footpath open between Iffley village and the Thames towpath while the work is being carried out.
The Environment Agency is carrying out a major revamp of locks along the River Thames including Abingdon Lock, Rushey Lock near Buckland and Buscot Lock near Faringdon.
Next month Abingdon Lock will be completely drained, with barriers in front of each gate to hold back the water, while the lock chamber is refurbished.
At Buscot, the lock gates will be renovated while at Rushey Lock, the rubbing timbers that run along the side of the lock and prevent boats from hitting the walls will be replaced.
These jobs will take place in January and during the work all the locks will be completely closed to boats.