Sluice Gate renovation at “The Mound” completed
AJ Engineering working in association with Bear Scotland have recently completed renovation work on the operating mechanisms for the Sluice Gates at “The Mound” on the A9 just south of Golspie, Sutherland. The Mound is a 1000 yard long embankment with a bridge at one end over the River Fleet and was completed in 1816 to bypass the last ferry crossing between London and John O’ Groats. The sluices act to hold back seawater as the tide rises but still allow fresh water out from the River Fleet as the tide fell back, however during times of river flood it was noted that the sluice gates were unable to pass sufficient water out to sea, so in 1833 under Telford’s direction the sluice gates were mechanised using brackets, pulley’s, chains and a hand operating winch allowing the gates to be fully opened during periods of high river flows.
Over the years some of these original castings and wheels have broken and required to be replaced and following lengthy discussions with Historic Scotland and Highland Council Listed Buildings it was agreed they could be replaced provided they were exact copies of what was on the bridge. AJ Engineering removed one of each of the original castings so they could be used to make up the new patterns from which the new castings were made of all the parts the castings by Specialised Castings Ltd Denny, the new parts were then all painted before being refitted to the bridge over a period of 4 weeks after which the gates were all tested for opening.
Wilson Burnett the AJE Project Manager comment that this unusual job showed off the wide range skills the company has and were able to deliver another on time completion.