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The Falkirk Wheel

falkirk wheel

The Millennium Link was an ambitious £84.5m project with the objective of restoring navigability across Scotland on the historic Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, providing a corridor of regenerative activity through central Scotland.

A major challenge faced, was to link the Forth and Clyde Canal, which lay 35m (115ft) below the level of the Union Canal. Historically, the two canals had been joined at Falkirk by a flight of 11 locks that stepped down across a distance of 1.5km, but these were dismantled in 1933, breaking the link.

What was required was a method of connecting these two canals by way of a boat lift. British Waterways (now Scottish Canals) were keen to present a visionary solution, taking full advantage of the opportunity to create a truly spectacular and fitting structure that would suitably commemorate the Millennium and act as an iconic symbol for years to come.

The resultant, a perfectly balanced structure that is The Falkirk Wheel – the world’s first and only rotating boat lift – was the eventual outcome of our collaboration with a design team that combined international experience of joint venture contractor Morrison-Bachy-Soletanche with leading specialists from Ove Arup Consultants, Butterley Engineering and Scotland-based RMJM architects.

Completion of The Millennium Link project was officially marked by Her Majesty The Queen on 24 May 2002 at The Falkirk Wheel.

One Response to “The Falkirk Wheel”

  1. Thanks for the feature in your blog, Drumboy Lodge!

    The Falkirk Wheel is a fantastic day out – you can join a boat trip and sail 35m into the air, out along the aqueduct and through a tunnel, or try canoeing or even walking on water – without getting your feet wet!

    There are loads of activities going on – you can take a woodland stroll or a bike ride along the (flat!) towpaths. There’s also a play park, and my favourite part – getting hands on at the mini canal and water play area!

    After all that fun and activity, you can enjoy a well-earned cuppa and homebaking in the cafe, find out more about The Wheel, and browse the gift shop. A perfect day out!

    Ooh, don’t forget to check our website for all the events happening too!

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