Fortec was engaged to perform post-mining rehabilitation works on the Upper Canal near Appin.


The 120 year old heritage listed structure conveys bulk water from the Nepean and Avon Dams to Prospect Reservoir in Sydney’s west.

The canal consists of open channels sections, tunnels, aqueducts and various other associated components. Due to mining operations in the vicinity, minor damage occurred to the aqueduct infrastructure and the canal.

Fortec was contracted to repair and restore the canal and aqueducts. The scope of works included:

  • Crack and patching repairs to the floor of the open canal, the floors and walls of aqueducts and to bellow walls.
  • Extending the height of the sandstone block open canal to pre-mine subsidence levels and in accordance with heritage requirements.
  • Removal of temporary steel strengthening installed prior to mine subsidence.
  • Replacement of structural bearings that support the cast iron pipe at a number of aqueducts.
  • Reinstatement of sandstone capping and associated repairs to all piers of the aqueducts in accordance with heritage requirements.


  • As Upper Canal still plays a critical role in supplying Sydney’s population with water, the aim of the project was to restore the canal to its original capacity and integrity once subsidence due to mining activity had ceased.
  • The project won a NSW National Trust Heritage Award. The awards acknowledge the greatest innovation, conservation, education and advocacy with a view to preserving or protecting natural, built and cultural heritage in New South Wales.


  • Structural Strengthening

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