Branches West Vale Restoration
Realignment of the Towpath by Shrivenham Arch Bridge (2013 - 2015)

Substation path-1

 

To the east of Station Road Arch Bridge, adjacent to the canal, is an electricity sub-station. When it was built, the ground level was raised such that the towpath alongside was narrowed and displaced into the canal channel. Additionally, there was a very steep and often muddy climb from this towpath up to the level of the road (the towpath did not pass under this bridge as here it changed from the south side of the canal to the north). For some time, the Branch had considered how it could improve this section of towpath and so enable the canal to be dredged to full width.

  

 

In early 2013 SSE dastically reduced the hedge that bordered their compound, so the Branch decided that it would take this opportunity to move the towpath up to the level of the sub-station fence. This required the removal of the remaining hedge stumps and raising the ground level adjacent to Station Road and alongside the sub-station with many tons of subsoil.
Our small mid-week work-party laboured long and hard, in summer heat, autumn rains and winter freeze, for with restricted space and a steep bank the work had to be done manually with much improvisation to support the bank whilst work was in progress.

 

Substation path-2     Substation path-3         Substation path-4    

substation path-5   The new path is now virually complete and in use,
  we will lay an all-weather top surface when funds allow.