Dog in Doublet to get �1.2million make over

A LANDMARK flood risk management and navigation structure on the River Nene in Fenland is being given a �1.2 million facelift.

The Environment Agency has begun works to refurbish Dog in a Doublet sluice near Whittlesey.

Dog in a Doublet sluice was built in 1937. It forms the upstream limit of the tidal defences for the River Nene and controls upstream river levels.

Project manager Elisha Tafirenyika said: “At present, the sluice is not fully operational because the north sluice is jammed and is in a deteriorating condition. “This work will ensure that the sluice and lock remain in good working order – both for boaters on the River Nene and flood risk management purposes – for years to come.”

The scheme will see both sluice gates – which are 9.1 metres wide and 5.5 metres high – refurbished and painted. The lower guide wheel assemblies are also being replaced, the guide rails repaired and new weed screens added to prevent debris lodging in the gates.

It is expected the lock will be closed to navigation for just over a week in October to allow for the replacement of the electrical operating system and to prepare the structure for automation.

Ms Tafirenyika said: “We have timed the closure to coincide with the end of the boating season to try to minimise disruption to river users.

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“While we understand this closure may cause some inconvenience, these works are vital if the Dog in a Doublet sluice and lock are going to continue to fulfil their purpose.

“If the sluice were to fail, its tidal location would cause the upstream channel to become saline preventing water abstraction for irrigation, causing potential damage to the neighbouring Site of Special Scientific Interest and preventing us from being able to control river levels for navigation.”

The refurbishment works are expected to be completed in January 2011.

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