Fringe Box



Second Attempt to Repair Collapsed Weir Commences But Funding Still Uncertain

Published on: 31 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 31 Mar, 2020

The temporary dam in place by Guildford Rowing Club.

By Martin Giles

A new temporary dam has been constructed on the River Wey to allow repair to the collapsed Tumbling Bay weir in Millmead.

A council spokesperson said today (March 31): “Work has begun to install a cofferdam around the collapsed weir. This work, which is being jointly undertaken by Guildford Borough Council and the National Trust, will take several weeks.

“River levels will then return to normal so it will once again be navigable. At the present time, outdoor construction work is still permitted, but understandably this might change.”

The council declined to clarify whether full agreement over financial responsibilities between the Council and the National Trust has been reached. Although the Trust owns the navigation it appears to have denied full responsibility for the collapsed weir.

Scaffolding poles have been driven into the river bed to give extra support.

The cofferdam is being constructed by Guildford Rowing clubhouse at the southern end of Millmead. An earlier attempt to construct a cofferdam in December failed when the weight of water, following heavy rains, proved too much.

While repairs are made, the river can continue to be diverted through a nearby weir to bypass the short stretch from the temporary dam to Millmead Lock.

The weir collapsed in November while a woman and her dog were crossing an attached footpath bridge (see: ‘I Was On the Bridge When It Collapsed’ – Dramatic Witness Account With Video).

This work team said they were about to remove any fish that had been trapped by the new dam.

The collapse caused the immediate lowering of the water level in the navigation between St Catherine’s Lock and Millmead Lock by the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, making the river impassable and leaving parts of the river bed exposed.

The rowing club and Farncombe Boathouse, which hires out narrowboats, have been directly affected. The reduced water level also appears to have caused damage and collapse of the river banks in places.

The riverbank has collapsed in several places while the water level has been low.

See also:

Updated: Weir On The Wey, Plans Agreed to Repair Navigation Damage After Collapse

Dams Plan For Weir Repairs, But Who Will Pay the Bill?

Repair Work on Collapsed Weir to Commences – Temporary Dam Being Constructed

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Responses to Second Attempt to Repair Collapsed Weir Commences But Funding Still Uncertain

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    March 31, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Shame they didn’t accept their joint responsibilities in the past and ensure that the river was correctly dredged and flood control was based on hydrology, as opposed to financing and ignorance of the water handling system at this location.

    You can’t turn water at 90 degrees at high speed without causing severe damage to the infrastructure. And you can’t block up 50% of the mill race without causing problems. Them old boys in the 1900s knew what they were doing.

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