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A huge maintenance operation has begun on the weir across the River Trent at Gunthorpe. The inspection is carried out every fifteen years to check for cracks.
First, though, there is the small matter of the fast flowing river, which has to be diverted so divers can get close enough for a proper look. Callum Watkinson reports.
Gunthorpe Weir is being inspected by structural engineers.
Built in the 1920s, the original purpose of Gunthorpe Weir was to maintain the depth of the River Trent between Gunthorpe Lock and Stoke Lock so it was passable for large freight ships.
Nowadays people use the river mainly for pleasure rather than business. But with thousands of gallons of water flowing across it every second it still needs maintaining.
This week structural engineers will begin the delicate task of inspecting the weir.
A crane boat will lift iron girders onto the weir to divert the river away from it, section by section. This will enable divers to enter the water and inspect the weir for structural damage.
The operation will last a week and cost approximately £10,000.
Divers will be wading into the fastest flowing parts of the River Trent today as they inspect the condition of one of the river's biggest weirs.
The Canal & River Trust has to carry out a detailed inspection of Gunthorpe Weir near Nottingham every 15 years but with thousands of gallons of water flowing over the weir every minute, engineers had to come up with a way to safely get a closer look.