The magnificent Falkirk Wheel opened in May of 2002 and these images show the final stages of the construction as the Wheel turns for the first time and the commissioning phase of the project begins. Travelling from Camelon toward Bonnybridge we find the new aqueduct popping above the tree line and giving us the first glimpse of the 'Wheel'. The new aqueduct connects The Falkirk Wheel with the Union canal via a tunnel under the Antonine Wall. Careful maneuvering through here then a sharp left turn through the lock and entrance into the North Basin and access to the Wheel' caisson chamber. There is plenty of turning room here and there will be moorings available whilst waiting to maneuver through this lock. Plenty of time to use the Visitor Centre Cafe and view the 'Wheel' operations - a 10 to 15 minute cycle time. The North Basin lock and the new visitor centre. Through the lock and into quite an expansive basin with the 'Wheel' towering above. The pedestrian swing bridge is also shown here. This bridge gives access from the towpath to the new visitors centre and connecting path - from and to - the Union canal for walkers and cyclists who want to continue their travels to Linlithgow - Edinburgh - Kirkintilloch - Glasgow and beyond
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This site has been in existence for more than 10 years and has followed the Falkirk Wheel through all its different phases from an idea on a drawing board to the construction phase and finally to its glorious opening in 2000. The Falkirk Wheel is the focus but there is still more to do to ensure the canal network is truly a 'ribbon of light' once more.