Canal & River Trust chooses consultants

The Canal & River Trust looks after 2,000 miles of waterways and thousands of structures

The Canal & River Trust looks after 2,000 miles of waterways and thousands of structures

The Canal & River Trust, a charity that looks after 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales, has signed framework agreements with Arcadis, RSK Environment, Stantec and Geotechnical Engineering.

The Canal & River Trust manages 1,579 locks, 55 tunnels, 2,969 bridges, 279 aqueducts and 71 reservoirs. It is the owner of the third largest collection of listed structures in the UK, behind the Church of England and the National Trust.

It is moving from a single to multi supplier model for its professional service and geotechnical inspection contracts from 1st April 2024 to broadens the pool of available resources.

The new contracts have been awarded following a five-stage tender process carried out over 18 months. They are for a period of up to eight years, with an initial term of four years.

With most of the canal network’s earth-built structures constructed more than 200 years ago, Arcadis, RSK Environment and Geotechnical Engineering will carry out a programme of ground investigations to monitor structural integrity.

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Ground investigations are also used to assess potential contamination and put in equipment to monitor ground movement of canal structures and groundwater levels.

Arcadis, Pell Frischmann and Stantec have also been engaged to provide engineering and design services when investigations reveal works are required.

Malcolm Horne, chief infrastructure and programmes officer at Canal & River Trust, said: “The UK’s canal network is a fantastic example of long-lasting civil engineering; living heritage which is still in active use today. This 250-year-old network is also facing the impact of a challenging, changing climate, with the multiple storms in the past few months alone causing millions of pounds of damage. To keep our canals safe and available for years to come, we must make sure our historic structures are sound, and that we’re planning our works with the best possible knowledge, both from our in-house expertise and drawing on the latest advances from other industries.”

Arcadis said that it would put more than 150 staff to work on the project, mostly in the UK but also drawing on support from offices in the Netherlands and Asia.

As well as managing canals in England and Wales, the Canal & River Trust has a portfolio that includes more than 2,500 listed buildings, nine historic battlefields and five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

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