A new fish pass has been installed as part of a lock refurbishment scheme on the River Medway in Kent, as part of moves to improve the condition of the river and strengthen the fish population within.
The programme of major refurbishment works at East Farleigh Lock is being carried out by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency.
East Farleigh Lock was last re-constructed more than a century ago and, although safe, the main structure was showing signs of wear.
The lock is being completely refurbished as part of a 10-month project, which includes the installation of a new fish pass.
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 new fish pass means that nine out of 10 lock sites on the Upper Medway will have had their barriers to fish passage removed.
The project in more detail
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.
The works are essential to ensure this important stretch of the Medway can continue to be used by commercial and private boats.
The lock was first dewatered, with extensive temporary works installed to support the existing structure.
The next phase involved the installation of a new reinforced concrete skin within the lock. At the same time the existing lock gates were refurbished on dry land by specialist contractors.
The reinforced concrete skin is now complete and the new lock apron slabs are being cast, and the lock gates are currently being reinstalled.
Works commenced in August 2016 and are scheduled for completion in July 2017.
30 May 2017