East Farleigh Lock reopens after refurbishment project

Mackley East Farleigh complete 2
Team Van Oord has successfully completed a programme of major refurbishment works at East Farleigh Lock on the River Medway.

The works, carried out by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency, are an essential part of ensuring this important stretch of the Medway can continue to be used by commercial and private boats.

The project began in August 2016 and was completed, with the exception of landscaping works, on 21 July. Final tests have since been carried out and the lock is now once again operational.

The River Medway flows for 70 miles from West Sussex, through Tonbridge, Maidstone and the Medway Towns conurbation in Kent, before joining the River Thames estuary at Sheerness.

East Farleigh village is located on the south side of the Medway about two miles upstream of Maidstone. East Farleigh Lock was last re-constructed more than a century ago and, although safe, the main structure was showing signs of wear.

Mackley East Farleigh complete

The 12-month project has seen Team Van Oord install a new reinforced concrete skin within the lock itself, while at the same time refurbish existing lock gates.

Other works include the installation of new access stairs and ladders within the lock, and a new fish and elver pass on the southern bank.

The new pass gives coarse and migratory fish the ability to pass the lock and weir complex, in turn enabling them to reach new spawning grounds and helping improve the overall condition of the river.

The project was not without it’s challenges, including the unplanned reconstruction of sections of the lock wall.

In May, a pair of nesting grey wagtails caused a flutter by delaying repair work at the lock for several weeks.

02 August 2017