Crane high and dry at Apperley Bridge after Leeds-Liverpool Canal drained (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Crane high and dry at Apperley Bridge after Leeds-Liverpool Canal drained
A section of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal is being drained so engineers can work out the best way to move a 64-tonne crane which toppled into the water earlier this month.
The vehicle overturned when the towpath beneath it gave way during Canal and River Trust maintenance work at Apperley Bridge on February 9.
Removing it has proven something more than a headache, with the trust calling the situation an “unusual challenge”.
Dams are being built either side of the all-terrain crane so the channel can be safely drained of water to give a better idea of how to move it.
Iain Weston, waterway manager at the trust, said: “Specialist contractors will then remove the excess oils and diesel from the crane and the towpath will be closed while this happens.
“I can, however, assure everyone who enjoys the canal that we’re working on a plan to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
The upturned crane has been a talking point in the area.
Dog-walker Graeme Atkins, 53, of Idle, said: “It’s become like a tourist attraction. The towpath up to it is really, really busy with people bringing their kids to look.”
He said draining the water seemed a drastic measure and questioned how the accident had happened.
The towpath around the crane was temporarily closed, but is now open again with the area around the vehicle fenced off so people can pass by.
Helen Horsman, the owner of the nearby Toby’s Tearooms, at Bottom Farm, Dobson Lock, said some regular customers had been avoiding the area but there had been a lot of interest in the unusual site.
“We’ve had different types of customers coming to see the crane, then wandering on to the tea room. We’ve a lot of regular customers, cyclist and mums with buggies who use the towpath in a certain way who have not been,” she said.
The crane has also got people’s attention on the Telegraph & Argus website with readers posting their comments.
Steve30d said: “Insurance companies write off cars which have been flooded, so I’m a little confused as to why it’s not being cut up and removed in chunks. Especially if the canal is closed anyway.”
Joedavid said: “They will have been built without such equipment and changed in the past without it so why now?”
And collos25 added: “When you consider the amount of work required to build the canal in the first place removal of a little crane and a bit of remedial work should be chicken feed.”