GALLERY: sluice gates removed at Outwell near Downham Market

Weekend road closure as contractors move in to take gates

The main road between Downham Market and Wisbech 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 the Middle Level Commissioners and the A1122 had to be closed while work on the project was carried out.

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

'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,' said Malcolm Downes, mechanical and electrical engineer at the Commission.

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

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

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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.

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 The Fens, much of which is below sea level.

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