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Weir, Intake and Head-Race Canal

 

The weir and intake were built at the same time, and are interlinked. The weir was built across the Shannon at Parteen-Villa to regulate the flow of the river and divert water into the head-race canal. The intake was built across the entrance to the head-race canal to control the flow of water into the canal.
The weir and intake under construction at Parteen Villa
The weir and intake under construction at Parteen
Villa. The weir was built in stages across the Shannon,
the site for each stage being enclosed within a coffer-dam.

The head-race canal is an eight mile canal into which part of the Shannon is deviated and conveyed to Ardnacrusha to drive the turbines in the power station. The canal had to be designed to deliver 500 cubic metres of water per second to the power station and also to facilitate navigation.

Excavators working on the embankment near O'Briens Bridge
Excavators working on the embankment near O'Briens Bridge.

The head-race was constructed partly in cutting and partly in embankment. Along one section the embankments reach a height of 18 metres.
O'Brien's Bridge electrical bank builder and train at work
O'Brien's Bridge electrical bank builder and train at work.
As the canal cuts through several roads, three reinforced concrete bridges had to be built across it, at O'Briens Bridge, Blackwater and Clonlara.
O'Brien's Bridge and the head-race embankments under construction
O'Brien's Bridge and the head-race
embankments under construction.