Waterways Ireland Extensive Winter Works Programme on Lower Bann
Waterways Ireland is undertaking a significant programme of maintenance works on the Lower Bann over the winter period. The picturesque Lower Bann connects Lough Neagh to the sea at the barmouth, north of Coleraine and the river, its towpaths and banks are used for tourism recreation by a wide range of locals and visitors. The works will focus on maintaining the navigability of the river channel and ensuring safe access for users.
Downstream of the Cutts Lock in Coleraine dredging has already been completed of over 1,000m3 of material, while at Movanagher a similar programme to remove 200m3 of material will take place over a number of weeks in November. Toome Canal mouth will be dredged in early 2021. Dredging of river-deposited material ensures the locks gates can operate and the channel remains clear enough for boats to pass.
In addition, the lock at Carnroe will have the upstream lock-gates changed – the gates which will be installed by a Waterways Ireland team, were last replaced over 50 years ago.
Waterways Ireland will begin the work to repair the weir at Carnoe and install a fish-pass in 2021 as planning permission has now been granted. Work will take place over a period of two years.
Winter is also the time the Waterways Ireland team undertake the removal of fallen trees and trim bank foliage along the navigation. This work will take place from Carnoe to the Cutts and at Toome. The Toome Canal Walk which has seen a significant increase in users this year, will also be resurfaced.
Joe Gillespie, Waterways Ireland Regional Manager said "These maintenance works are essential to maintain the heritage assets of the Lower Bann and ensure they are accessible to the widest range of users".