Crinan Canal Emergency Breach Prevention Works

Civils Bellanoch, Argyll and Bute 0.08M 2 Weeks December 2009

Crinan Canal Emergency Breach Prevention Works

Crinan Canal Emergency Breach Prevention Works


The Crinan canal is a canal in the west of Scotland. It takes its name from the village of Crinan which is located at its westerly end. Nine miles long, it connects the village of Ardrishaig on Loch Gilp with the Sound of Jura, providing a navigable route between the Clyde and the Inner Hebrides, without the need for a long diversion around the Kintyre peninsula, and in particular the exposed Mull of Kintyre.

The canal is a deep navigation up to 3m in depth built for yachts and larger ships. Near the village of Bellanoch the canal was constructed into the rock cliffs adjacent to the estuary. The canal was constructed via a cut and fill exercise with the embankment between the canal and the estuary being largely constructed of site won large stone overlaid with puddle clay.

Due to the nature of the embankment make up there has been a history of breaches occuring along this stretch of navigation. Several prior attempts to prevent leakage have been conducted to date including extensive stone pitching work and relining.

A significant leak was evident at this location and it was worsening by the day.

As a safeguard prior to the planned major works solution in the new year an emergency plan was put in place which involved the construction of two stone dams lined with a layer of bentonite sheeting. The works needed to be complete before the Christmas shutdown to safe guard against a major breach during the holiday period.

The canal at the point of the proposed works is sandwiched between the public highway the B8025 and the estuary. Access was therefore difficult but was achieved by land via implementing temporary lane closures on the B8025.

The works were a success, completed on time and to budget.

A breach did not occur and the major works were completed as planned in the early part of 2010.

Location: Bellanoch, Argyll and Bute Cost: 0.08M Duration: 2 Weeks Completion: December 2009