It might be getting colder by the day and the snow getting ever closer, but on the whole the weather has been very kind to us since the last update in November, and we have made excellent progress with the works.
We’ve finished the main works at the northern end of the embankment and removed everything from the north shore that was being used as a storage area. The grass seed that was spread on the dam embankment is now starting to grow, and last week a team of volunteers has spread cuttings over the area behind the dam to provide a seed bank to encourage the growth of a heathland habitat come the spring.
The work to extend the stop board grooves in the ‘hidden chamber’ which will allow improved maintenance access to the valve chamber in the future is finished.
Water levels continue to rise and the inlet chamber is now completely submerged. There is still a concrete cover slab to cast at the canal basin which will be done in the New Year – otherwise, our work in that area is complete.
That leaves the works in the Nine Foot Pool. The casting of the concrete spillway slab was originally programmed for the New Year. But we have taken advantage of the weather conditions and brought that forward and were able to cast the final section last week, completing that work.
Concreting work can be difficult in the winter as ideally, temperatures have to be above freezing and rising for new concrete to be placed, otherwise the frost can seriously damage the fresh concrete.
We can now be reasonably certain of completing the Redirock retaining walls around the spillway early in the New Year as this operation is not adversely affected by cold conditions.
The last items of concreting work on the project are the headwalls to the overflow pipes and the main weir in front of the spillway, all of which are planned for the New Year, weather permitting.
Finally, could we, the Chasewater project and site team, thank you all very much for your continuing patience and understanding over the past year. We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and very much look forward to handing Chasewater back to you soon after the New Year.