A £170,000 project is underway to replace two three-tonne lock gates on the Regent’s Canal in Mile End.

The Canal and River Trust – the charity that cares for the waterway – has completely drained the water from Johnson’s Lock close to Mile End Park. Once drained, the Trust’s engineers were able to access the old lock gates which have become worn through years of use by boats navigating the canal. Each gate is carefully craned out and replaced with brand new solid oak lock gates which will last for 25 years.

The new gates, which weigh in the region of three tonnes – around the weight of a family car – were crafted in the trust’s workshop at Stanley Ferry in Yorkshire. The project is set to be completed by mid-December.

Graham Smith, Canal and River Trust supervisor, said: “The Regent’s Canal is probably more busy now than any time in living memory, so it’s great to get the major infrastructure that keeps everything ticking along into top condition.

“It’s only every quarter of a century that we get the opportunity to replace a set of lock gates and it takes quite a bit of work to get it right. Every lock is unique, so we have to hand craft the gates to very fine specifications. This is a great example of the type of work that needs to be done to keep the Canal in top condition so that everyone can continue to enjoy it.”