by Jim Hunter
MAJOR construction work is set to start on the Hydropower installation at Woolston Weir this week with significant deliveries of materials and the laying of a temporary road surface at the bottom of Weir Lane to improve access for large vehicles.
Sheet piling work is planned to begin with large deliveries from September 1st and the work starting two days later. Over the course of the month there will be around 20 large loads which will necessitate the prohibiting of parking on Weir Lane.
In order to avoid damage by large vehicles, part of the fencing at Woolston Lock will be removed for the duration of the piling work and a temporary fence installed in its place.
There will also be traffic restrictions on Weir Lane during September to allow the laying of the cabling necessary to connect the hydro installation to the National Grid. A traffic order is being introduced to manage accessibility and speed on Weir Lane during these works.
The project is to harness the power of the river to provide low cost and environmentally friendly energy generation and provide a new state of the art fish pass to allow salmon and other fish and eels to pass upstream of the weir.
The contractors, Hydropol, are liaising closely with the local community and Woolston Eyes Conservation Group to minimise inconvenience and disruption during the project.