01:44PM, Thursday 01 August 2019
Kayaks, canoes and rowing boats could soon be travelling through the town centre as work continues on the Maidenhead Waterways.
Work on the weir in Green Lane is scheduled to end in November, and once complete fish and eels will be able to pass through into the rest of the waterway as the water level rises by about one metre up to the Town Moor.
The raised water level also means that small boats will be able to travel through the town centre section of the channel.
Richard Davenport, Maidenhead Waterways chairman of trustees, said: “Completing the weir and filling the channels will be a highly visible and transformational stage of the project.
“We are excited about being finally able to use the waterway, adding new interest and activity in the town centre as it regenerates.”
While work is being done on the weir, Maidenhead Waterways volunteers are hard at work clearing dead wood, rubbish and other debris from the hidden Moor Cut channel, which has been left empty since the 1960s.
Once the weir is complete, the channel will fill with water, making it much harder to clear of debris.
Looking ahead, more work will be done on the section of the waterway near Chapel Arches.
When work on the weir is done an access ramp and floating pontoons will be installed next to the cafe Bakedd, allowing Maidenhead Waterways to moor and store boats in the two arches under the bridge where water does not pass through.
Plans are also being made to remove a redundant ‘pipe bridge’ in the section of the channel near Homebase.
Funding for these two projects is yet to be confirmed but is part of the Royal Borough’s budget bid.
Meanwhile, a ‘funding stalemate’ between the Royal Borough and Shanly Homes means work is yet to begin on lowering the river bed underneath the Chapel Arches to the same depth as the rest of the channel.
Mr Davenport warned that it would be a ‘permanent limitation’ if this work was not done, as larger boats would not be able to pass under the bridge.
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