River Thames – Views Sought on Molesey Weir Repairs
The Environment Agency is inviting local residents, businesses and river users to find out more about their plans for an upgrade at Molesey Weir.
Next Wednesday, 10 October at Molesey Boat Club in Graburn Way, Environment Agency experts will be on hand from 3pm until 8pm to discuss all aspects of the work, from why it’s necessary to how the impact on the local environment will be limited.
David Blythin, the Environment Agency‘s Project Manager, said:
“We’re hoping for a great turnout. Earlier consultation with residents and other interested parties produced some very useful comments which we have taken on board. We’re now keen to get feedback on how we intend to manage the delivery and storage of materials, including the location of the site compound and vehicle access to it.
We know that this is always an area of concern and we want to be sure that we’ve done everything we reasonably can to minimise disruption.”
Molesey weir lies upstream of Hampton Court Palace and was built in 1883 with the last major repairs carried out in 1934. Weirs act as a barrier across rivers holding back water, gates in the weir are opened to let water pass through, enabling Environment Agency staff a degree of control over water levels for flood risk management, navigation and water abstraction.
Surveys have shown that the 15 ‘buck’ gates that form part of the weir structure, along with their steel supports and the walkways that run over them, are all in poor condition and need replacing.
During the gate replacement staff will also be replacing the existing fish trap with a fish pass. The new fish pass will enable a greater variety of fish to pass freely through the weir without any human intervention. The recently installed eel pass will also be retained. To help the aesthetics of the new gates and fish pass a shingle roof will be retained to ensure the weir will blend into the surrounding environment.
While the work is being carried out a temporary bridge will be installed to Ash Island for residents and owners of boats moored on the island to use.
Work on the weir is due to start in spring 2013 and be completed in autumn 2014. Work will be suspended during the winter months to ensure the weir is fully functional to manage flood risk.
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