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Gloucester Docks &
the Sharpness Canal


Two Mile Cut - Excavation

This page reports on the major civil engineering work involved in excavating the new cut that has bypassed the awkward double bend in the canal two miles south of Gloucester. The following links lead to pages outlining other aspects of the project:

Plans for 2m Cut   Clearing 2m Cut   Opening 2m Cut   2m Cut Summer 06   Netheridge Bridge
Dewatering 2m Bend   2m Bend Desilting   2m Bend Filling   Historical Background

Early Work
     Main contractors Norwest Holst started work on site in June 2005, beginning with initial excavation and pile driving.

This picture taken in August 2005 is looking east along the line of the new cut, with the existing canal bending sharp right and then left to pass in front of the towers of the concrete plant in the distance. On the left can be seen the huge concrete blocks and steel rods that had anchored the existing piling, and beyond them the crane and pile driver were working at the site of the bridge to be built over the cut.

November 2005

A huge drilling rig working at the west end of the new cut, drilling holes for the special long concrete piles needed where there is no space for anchors.


Looking east along the partially excavated new cut towards the site of the new bridge, showing the steel piling used generally.

Spring 2006
     The foundations for the new swing bridge were completed during the winter, and the excavation was taken down to its full depth of five meters by March 2006. The picture shows the almost finished excavation (looking west) and the site of the new bridge with the pintle on the right. The swing span was being built by Qualter Hall in Barnsley, Yorkshire, ready to be transported down by road in 15 separate sections for assembly on site.

For project plans, further progress and historical background, see links above.

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