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  • Writer's pictureIan

Our Work: Trent Valley – Shardlow & Willington

Site: Trent Valley – Shardlow & Willington

Date: November 2020 – February 2021

Value: £150,000


The Rothen Group were asked by Canal & River Trust and Kier to assist with ‘Transforming the Trent Valley Towpath Project’ at Shardlow & Willington. The towpath needed improving and upgrading with soft bank protection and timber sleeper retaining walls required too. The works were over 2.75km within a Conservation & Heritage Area. The project involved:

  • On site meetings to establish best plant/equipment and methodology for undertaking works in conservation & heritage areas in a sensitive manner

  • Versatile kit to get plant & materials to site where access was very awkward

  • Managing boat & towpath users during the works

  • Clearing the old towpath

  • Difficulties in getting materials to site

  • Laying new towpath to different specifications in different areas

  • Installing edging boards and blending towpath in other places

  • Finishing site with topsoil & seed

  • Experienced team with heritage training

  • Bank protection works

Using our 70ft grab barge to lay Type 1 sub base and then Centrac topcoat
Using our 70ft grab barge to lay Type 1 sub base and then Centrac topcoat

Boarding with sub base and finished towpath
Boarding with sub base and finished towpath

Timber sleeper retaining wall and coir roll soft bank protection
Timber sleeper retaining wall and coir roll soft bank protection

The Project

Through having a wide range of floating plant the difficult access was easily overcome. We used a 2.5t marine ready excavator for scarifying and clearing the old towpath. As much of the existing topsoil was blended into the verge to save taking material off site. After laying edge boards where needed and membrane, the grab barge was used to offload Type 1 sub base and then the Centrac top coat directly onto the towpath.

The towpath was widened for over 100m section where the existing bank had collapsed and a timber sleeper retaining wall was installed. In addition soft bank protection measures of coir rolls & hazel faggots were installed along another collapsed bank section.

Our floating grab barge was able to transport some materials to site and self offload directly onto the towpath with a clamshell. We loaded the materials at our wharf and floated them to site using pusher tugs and hoppers. This kept cost down as larger loose tip orders of materials could be made rather despite the difficult access on site.

The grab barge could unload from either it’s own hold tank or the hoppers tank and ensure a steady stream of material for the team working to level and compact the towpath.

A centrac top coat was applied and then topsoil brought in where necessary and blended in with grass seed to finish.

These works were undertaken with minimal supervision and to a high standard, in conjunction with our pragmatic approach to these type of projects.

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