In January 2018, VolkerStevin began works on a flood defence system at Fairhaven Beach, located in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire. The project is being carried out by VBA, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, with VolkerGround Engineering being awarded a £1million sub-contract to install tubular and sheet piles.
The current concrete defences at Fairhaven were built in the 1980s and, now in poor condition, require emergency repairs every year to prevent a major breach and further coastal erosion of residential and commercial properties.
The scope of work included the installation of 1,197 linear metres of combi wall consisting of 4.5 metre long 610mm diameter tubes with 990m2 of infill sheet piles.
There was a risk of contamination on site, which was successfully managed using robust environmental management processes and spill kits.
Despite challenging ground conditions and periods of high winds, causing work to stop, the project was delivered on time due to the team’s flexible approach to the work programme.
As all the work took place below the tide line, VolkerGround Engineering phased the piling works to allow for the incoming and outgoing tides. We worked collaboratively with the client to mitigate the risk of working within an active tidal environment. Areas were dug out and bunded to stop the working areas from flooding during piling operations.
In addition the team constructed a frame and welded the infill piles together before being needed on the beach. These piles were then pitched as panels above the waterline to overcome the harsh tidal environment.
For public safety, VBA blocked off the beach from public use from 7am-6pm. A dedicated customer drop-in center was available on-site for the duration of the project, to provide information and updates on the coastal protection works and community benefits. The works are scheduled to be completed by 2020.