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Towpath collapse means canal may need to be drained
A SECTION of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal could be drained after the towpath collapsed.
A hole, 13-feet long, nine-feet deep on the path linking Rishton and Whitebirk, opened up yesterday morning, leaving it impassable.
A resident reported the collapse on social media and Paul Wilkinson, a member of the Rishton Prospects panel which has cared for the canal for more than 15 years, reported it to the Canal and Rivers Trust.
He described the collapse as a ‘major breach’ which would most likely lead to the canal being drained.
Rishton councillor Ken Moss said: “A section of the canal in Rishton will need to be drained completely which will be interesting.
“The scrap metal vans will be lining up, but it’ll be a free dredge of the canal so I’m not complaining.”
Rob Hall posted a picture of the collapse on the internet and said he feared the culvert beneath the canal, which carries a brook, could also have collapsed.
A resident commented: “Crikey. It’s a whisker away from breaching by the look of that picture.”
A spokesman for the Canal and Rivers Trust confirmed its engineers were on site investigating yesterday afternoon, but said it was too soon to say whether a complete drain would be needed.
The trust, a charity, took over from British Waterways and is responsible for 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in Britain.
Maintenance manager Steve Bergquist said: “Yesterday morning, a section of towpath between bridge 108a and 109 on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Rishton collapsed, leaving a four metre wide and three metre deep hole.
“The towpath and navigation between these two bridges has been closed.
“At this stage, we don’t know why this has happened and our engineers are currently on site investigating the cause of the collapsed towpath.”
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