Malthouse Bridge is in a bit of a state at the moment, having suffered spalling and partial collapse of a concrete facing on the inside of the arch. It was previously planned to close the Canal during October to make repairs, however the BCA has issued the following updated navigation notice indicating that the planned closure of the Canal will now take place during November:
An update to my previous email.
We have been trying to push this work back into October but have had difficulty with issues regarding the setting of lime mortar and potential weather in October. However we have managed to resolve this with a special additive and the start date for this work will now be Monday 28th October, lasting for 1 month but it may take longer.
The work is to stabilise the Grade II listed bridge. The bridge suffers from spalling/ partial collapse of the face of the abutment which requires immediate stabilisation to prevent further deterioration, which could result in a prolonged closure of the bridge and the canal if not dealt with soon.
This work is considered essential emergency works. Boats will still be able to travel onto the canal but will not be able to go past Malthouse bridge in Hampshire.
Boats in upper Hampshire will not be able to leave the canal while the work is undertaken, so if you need to leave the canal during November it is advised to move your boat downstream of Malthouse bridge before Monday 28th October.
The last winding/turning holes are Pondtail bridge in Fleet and Chequers bridge at Church Crookham.
We have had several questions regarding the potential closure of the road going over the bridge. The reply from Hampshire County Councils structures team is:
“We are monitoring the bridge for stability at present and there is a possibility that we may require to close the bridge during the work, and divert the traffic to Coxheath bridge. We are doing our best to avoid closing the road or at least minimise the closure time.”
Basingstoke Canal Authority
Mytchett Place Road
Note that the possible extension of the closure beyond a month is because the additive to the lime mortar slows the setting rate (protecting it from the effects of cold weather), and additional time may be required to allow the mortar to harden completely.