Union Canal Remediation

GDG was requested by MacKenzie Construction Ltd. to provide geotechnical consultancy services for the permanent remediation works of the Union Canal breach.

The breach is located approximately 2km southeast of Polmont and 4.5km west of Linlithgow in the Scottish Lowlands. The objective of this project is to remediate the canal embankment at the breach location and along areas of the embankment slope that have shallow translational slips along the northern slope.

An image of the Union Canal Remedial Works

The Scope of Work

The purpose of this design was to evaluate a remediation solution for the permanent stabilisation of the canal embankment. This solution includes the reinstatement of the canal embankment across the breach location and installation of sheet pile walls.

This permanent solution includes the installation of:

  • Two rows of sheet pile walls tied together using suitable steel bars and backfilled using suitable engineering fill across the breach location; and
  • A single row of sheet piles to form a cantilever wall along the internal canal-side slope of the embankment and regrading of the external slope along the translational slip locations.
‘’Mackenzie provided us with some drone footage, and Eoin had a look at the site. It was proper detective work to figure out what had caused it, and then to model it accurately in the design software to produce the same failure to then assess the in-situ parameters and take it forward to assess the permanent works design.”

Yvonne Ainsworth, Director GDG

An image of the Union Canal Remedial Works

The assessment of the remediation works was completed using GeoStudio SEEP/W and SLOPE/W 2012, FREW 19.2 and the Plaxis 2D finite element analysis software packages. GeoStudio SEEP/W and SLOPE/W 2012 have been used to assess the hydraulic flow and stability of the proposed remediation works.

An image of the Union Canal Remedial Works

FREW 19.2 has been used to assess the geotechnical ultimate limit state actions applied to the sheet pile walls and Plaxis 2D has been used to assess the serviceability limit state ground movements of the remediation works.


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