THE FIRST boats since repairs and strengthening work started on the Huddersfield Canal will pass through Uppermill on time at Easter.
The news will delight pleasure barge hire boat owners as well as car users visiting Saddleworth’s unofficial ‘capital’.
Only contractors working on behalf of the Canal and River Trust have had access to the popular tourist spot adjacent to lock 22W.
Wash wall re-build works are complete, and the canal has been re-watered as part of the £200,000 project.
Part of the towpath is reopen but some parking spaces at Saddleworth Museum car park remain out of use until all work has been finalised on Thursday, April 13.
While motorists have had to seek alternative parking locations, Oldham Council confirmed they will receive £2,520 as a result of the nine slots being decommissioned for use by contractors.
A spokesperson for the Canal and River Trust told the Independent: “Works have been delivered by local contractor Truelink working in partnership with Kier, who worked overtime to ensure the canal is open for boat trips during the school holidays.
“Saddleworth Museum have been very cooperative, and even took the chance to re-paint their windows while the canal was empty.
“But construction works have not been without their challenges. The site is very restricted with limited access in the popular village.
“Construction had to be carefully planned to minimise disruption to towpath users. The Trust would like to thank residents and businesses for their understanding, and wish local boaters a successful season.”