Sluice gates removed from Fenland river by Middle Level Commissioners

A FENLAND road was closed over the weekend when a set of sluice gates were removed.

The gates at the Mullicourt Aqueduct, just outside Outwell, were removed by Middle Level Commissioners and the A1122 between Wisbech and Downham Market had to be closed while work on the project was carried out.

The new multi-million pound pumping station at St Germans means the sluice gates will not be used again.

Malcolm Downes, mechanical and electrical engineer at the Commission, said: “In addition, with the continued deterioration of the structure and the regular vandalism that took place, together with the concern that a failure could cause an obstruction to the Middle Level Main Drain with consequential upstream flooding, it was decided that the structure should be removed.”

Heavy lifting equipment was used by contractor CG Godfrey and the redundant gates were removed.

The road was re-opened at 7pm on Sunday.

Mr Downes said gravity discharge, which the gates were suitable for, had not been carried out on that particular stretch of waterway for a number of years.

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Prior to that they were only used on rare occasions when tides were favourable and the sluice gates at the old pumping station were opened.

The Commission is responsible for land drainage in Fenland, much of which is below sea level.

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