An important step in the restoration of the Spencer Dock Sea Lock took place with the installation of new outer, tidal lock gates on 28th May 2008. The redevelopment project will see the creation of a six-hectare public green area in the North Lotts area and are a further step in the restoration of the Royal Canal as a public amenity. The tidal lock gates will dramatically reduce the risk of tidal flooding along the Canal’s banks.
The Royal Canal Linear Park has been designed by Paris-based architectural practice, Agence Ter. The Park will feature floating gardens, playgrounds, pavilions, new bridges and sporting facilities and will provide a visually striking public amenity. The project will also open up the Royal Canal as a public amenity, encouraging use of the canal between the River Liffey and the River Shannon for a range of activities including boating, walking and fishing.
Work on the Sea Lock began in August 2007 and is expected to be substantially completed by Autumn 2008. The new gates will protect against tidal flooding along the banks of the Royal Canal between the River Liffey and Newcomen Lock, over 1km inland. Following the installation of the new outer tidal lock gates, which involves the use of a 250 tonne crane, the inner lock gates will be installed and repairs made to the historic walls around the Sea Lock.
The original Spencer Dock Sea Lock was completed in 1873, but had fallen into disrepair by the mid 1900′s. Following the completion of its restoration later this year, vessels will be able to safely navigate from Spencer Dock at the terminus of the Royal Canal to the River Liffey for the first time since its closure. Preparations are also underway for the diversion of water, electrical and communication services that presently restrict vessel access from the River Liffey to the Royal Canal.
The restoration project is being promoted and funded by Dublin City Council, together with Dublin Docklands Authority, Waterways Ireland and the Office of Public Works. Consulting Engineers Royal Haskoning represents the client group. Pierse Contracting is responsible for design and construction.