Works to Safeguard Ness Weir
Vital repair works at Ness Weir on behalf of Scottish Canals have been progressing well. Due to the increased pressure on the structure due to downpours blamed by global warming, these works have been instigated and are valued in the region of £2m
Constructed between 1825 and 1830 by Thomas Telford, Ness Weir sits at the mouth of Loch Dochfour and the River Ness the raises the water level of Loch Dochfour by almost two metres and Loch Ness by 1.2 metres. It retains around 100,000,000m 3 of water and thanks to this elegant engineering solution, vessels are able to transit through Dochgarroch lock, through Loch Dochfour, and into Loch Ness.
The works that Mackenzie Construction are currently undertaking involves the installation of 500 meters of steel pilling to strengthen the structure and safeguard it for future generations and are scheduled to be completed by October 2017.
Part of the project will involve the installation of a temporary fish pass linking the River Ness and the mouth of Loch Dochfour. This will ensure continued upstream and downstream movement of fish whilst the existing pass is blocked off for installation of the strengthening piles. We along with our client Scottish Canals, are liaising with SEPA and the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board throughout the project to ensure the habitat’s fish population is unaffected by the works.
Due to the large scale of the works, the canal towpath between Tomnahurich Swing Bridge and Dochgarroch Lock will be closed to the public until the completion of the project. The opposite towpath will remain open for use. The closed towpath will be repaired at the end of the project, removing potholes and improving the surface for all users.
This towpath is expected to be re-opened by mid-December 2017. The works are not expected to have any impact on boat traffic.