The wier at Cullochy on the Caledonian Canal has partially collapsed following heavy rainfall and meltwater, closing the Canal for sea to sea transits.

A portion of the Caledonian Canal has been closed, preventing vessels travelling sea-to-sea, following the partial collapse of the wier at Cullochy after heavy rainfall and melting snow. The Canal may remain closed until the end of April.

Although there is no risk to life or property, Scottish Canals sent engineers to the scene within hours of the incident to assess the damage. It is estimated that repairs will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and may take several weeks.

The weir, six miles south of Fort Augustus, was washed away by the high water levels on Loch Oich. Water in the loch usually sits at an average depth of 1.2m, but has dropped by nearly a metre to 0.4m following the collapse.

The flow of water over the wier must first be stemmed before work can commence. This will be achieved by placing large stone blocks in the water near Aberchalder Bridge, and these will be removed once the work is complete.

A spokeswoman for Scottish Canals said, ‘This is a significant and unforeseen breach of the canal which requires a major civil engineering response that will take many weeks to complete. This will mean that the Caledonian Canal at this location, and for sea to sea transits, could be closed to navigation until the end of April – although we will do all we can to carry out the work as quickly as possible in order to minimise the impact on our customers. Once the work to stem the flow of water has been carried out, we hope to be able to manage the repair works to the weir while the canal is operational.’