In 2018, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways commenced a programme of works to restore the lock chamber and gates in order to bring the lock back into operation.
The existing lock gates at Camden Lock, which date from the canal’s opening in 1796, are in a derelict state and have not been operated for over 30 years.
They are currently tied open, and the lock has been closed off by the installation of stop logs on the dock side of the chamber.
However, the Camden Lock chamber is generally in a good structural condition.
The lock structure, existing timber gates, all associated machinery including sluice boxes and gate winches, stones sets and limestone paving are all designated and classified as a heritage structure.
Initial regeneration works by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority beginning in 2002 concentrated on decontamination of the land at Grand Canal Dock.
Redevelopment of the area has continued steadily since then and includes the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Google Docks and numerous new apartment buildings located along the perimeter of the dock.
The proposed works for Camden Lock are split in two distinct areas, beginning with preparatory works:
- Installation of temporary steel stop logs
- De-watering the lock, dredging and sediment removal from the lock floor and initial cleaning of the walls
- Removal of the existing derelict gates
Surveying of the lock chamber and existing gates in advance of construction of the new gates
This phase would be followed by the refurbishment works:
- Installation of new timber lock gates (replicas of the existing), including new access for all pedestrian walkway over the breast gates
- Installation of hydraulic rams, to allow for automation of the new gates
- Aquatic vegetation removal, racking out and repointing of joints
- Preservation of the integrity of the heritage site, including: all gate machinery, winch mechanisms, wheels, pot and pintels; wall ring insets; stone sets and limestone paving