Work continues on Liverpool Link
Artist's impression of the canal link under the Pier Head and the Museum of Liverpool. (Picture: BW)
May 11th 2007, updated October 13th 2007
Work is now well under way on the construction of Liverpool's canal link between Stanley Dock and Albert Dock. The link will extend the Leeds and Liverpool Canal through the former docks area and past the Pier Head to one of the city's most popular tourist venues.
Three sections of tunnel have now been completed and work on sections of canal linking the tunnels is under way.
Most of the area between Princes Dock and Canning Dock is now a construction site. In addition to the canal link, the new Museum of Liverpool and a Cruise Liner Terminal are also being built.
The excavation has unearthed some relics of Liverpool's past, including a Victorian sewer, a 250-year-old river wall, ornate stones from 1673 from Liverpool's old Town Hall, and remnants of Manchester Dock and Chester Basin.
Work is on schedule for the Canal Link to open in 2008. See photos of the progress of the work.
Follow this link to see the British Waterways Liverpool Canal Link website, which includes a web cam overlooking the site.
July 10th 2006
Work will be starting shortly to create British Waterways' bold new link between Stanley Dock and Albert Dock in Liverpool, extending the Leeds and Liverpool Canal through the former docks area and past the Pier Head to one of the city's most popular tourist venues.
However, the scheme has hit choppy waters after BW announced plans for a small change in the route. The new proposal would move the route a short distance to the east at Trafalgar Dock and would then involve West Waterloo Dock being filled in with the spoil from the channel excavated across the Pier Head. However, residents of nearby Waterloo Quay are unhappy as their apartments currently overlook the dock. They claim the area will look unsightly during the years it would take for the land to settle and fear that the site will eventually be built on.
Read more at icLiverpool
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Updated 25th April 2005
Liverpool City Council has now approved the detailed planning application by British Waterways to build the Liverpool Canal Link - the extension of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal across Pier Head in front of the world famous Three Graces and into South Docks.
The application was approved following a number of amendments to the original plan, which was submitted in February 2004. Key changes have been incorporated at the Pier Head, providing access to the waters edge, utilising the space for public celebration and enjoyment. The canal alignment integrates with the proposed Pier Head loop of the Merseytram and complements the National Museum's Liverpool proposal for a new museum on Mann Island.
Currently the canal ends next to the Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock. The link will open up another 1.4 miles of navigable waterway to canal going craft and will provide a new focal point at Pier Head. The South Docks, which include the famous Albert Dock, will provide an exciting destination for boaters, giving them a good reason to travel along the canal into Liverpool.
The innovative £17 million scheme, which will allow boats to cruise from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, across Pier Head and into the South Docks is now awaiting final confirmation of funding, which is expected this summer.
The Canal Link is then planned to open in 2007 during the city's 800th anniversary, and in readiness for the Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008. The Liverpool Canal Link project will support the continuing regeneration aims of partner organisations for the Liverpool Waterfront, and through north Liverpool and south Sefton.
Mike Storey, Leader, Liverpool City Council said: "This is an exciting and imaginative scheme by British Waterways which will help attract many more visitors into the heart of the city and will add considerably to the renaissance taking place in Liverpool."
The design reflects the maritime development of Liverpool as a major port and the vision of a number of the original dock architects, such as Jesse Hartley - who built the Albert Dock. Their concept was a completely-integrated waterway network that stretched along the entire Liverpool Waterfront.
Major work will include the excavation of the Trafalgar Dock creating 470 metres of new channel from Salisbury Dock to West Waterloo Dock.
A new lock and road bridge will be built at the northern end at Princes Dock. The channel will then reach the plaza at Pier Head before passing by the proposed Fourth Grace into Canning Dock.
Preparatory works commenced with the construction of a cruise liner facility at Pier Head. The Canal Link is then planned to open in spring 2007 in time for the city's 800th anniversary, and a year in advance of Capital of Culture 2008.
Adrian Sains, North West Waterways General Manager, said: "The Link will have a beneficial impact upon the landscape and character of the Central and South Docks.
"The reintroduction of water-based traffic will not only provide redevelopment potential to an underused and undervalued area but will also bring economic regeneration as well.
"Most of all, the adoption of a sensitive and quality design philosophy of the Canal Link will ensure that it will promote a positive impression at Pier Head and throughout its entire length."
Liverpool City Council will now study the planning application.