Liverpool canal link completes first tests

Michael Hunt

British Waterways has carried out the first tests on its Liverpool Canal Link project at the Pier Head and said the scheme is on schedule to open this spring.

The picture shows the company's working boat, the first vessel to appear on that section of the canal, testing the locks located near the city's Three Graces buildings.

A spokesperson for British Waterways said: "The tests are the first part of the commissioning phase and we're doing these with our own boats before the canal locks open to the public in spring. Everything went really well and according to plan."

Meanwhile, 22 new floating pontoons have been installed at Salthouse Dock in readiness for the opening of the canal.

The finger pontoons comprise of three different sizes, providing high specification mooring facilities for up to 44 boats.

They have been designed and installed by Intermarine and cost £120,000, with funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund and North West Development Agency through the Waterfront Connections programme.

Over the next few weeks the pontoons will be connected to water and electricity supplies.

The new moorings are an important component of the visitor destination offer in the city's South Dock and will help to improve the vibrancy of the waterspace by attracting boaters in significantly greater numbers.

British Waterways took ownership of the waterspace in 2003.

The £17m scheme will extend the Leeds-Liverpool canal by 1.4 miles, enabling it to end at the South Dock instead of the Stanley Dock.

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