Emergency work has started to repair a lock on the Aylesbury arm of the Grand Union Canal which collapsed.
The lock wall at Buckland, yards from the Arla megadairy which is currently being built, collapsed in on itself last week, making the passage impossible for narrow boats to pass.
It is hoped repairs can be done in time for the passage to be re-opened in time for the August bank holiday weekend.
The Canal and River Trust, which is responsible for the waterway, said other repair projects may have to be put on hold while the Buckland problem is dealt with.
Jeff Whyatt, the trust’s senior waterway manager, said: “Considering the age of the canal, problems like the one at Buckland Lock are thankfully still extremely rare.
“We are getting on with the job and hope to get the canal back open quickly as we can.
“Fixing this problem certainly isn’t going to be cheap, we are a charity and don’t have an endless pot of money, so it is likely we will have to make the difficult decision on what slightly less urgent, but just as important repairs on other areas of the waterways can be postponed whilst we work on these emergency repairs.”
A spokeswoman for the trust confirmed engineers were looking into the possibility that the construction of the dairy had something to do with the collapse.
They said: “It is something we are looking into.
“It may be connected or it may be nothing to do with it.”
Opened in 1839, the Aylesbury arm is just over six miles long and home to 16 locks.
It is a key destination for boaters wanting to visit the centre of Aylesbury and the waterside development at Aylesbury Basin.
Mr Whyatt said: “The Aylesbury arm is a lovely quiet canal just off the main Grand Union Canal.
“Although it is only a few miles long it is extremely popular with boaters, walkers and cyclists and those wanting to explore their local waterway.”