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Contractors World 2010 Volume 1 Issue 7
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FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Severe storms over the past 100 years have damaged the sea defences along the coastal frontage of Tywyn on the west Wales coast of Cardigan Bay. WALES
Remedial coastal defence after 100 years

Severe storms over the past 100 years have damaged the sea defences along the coastal frontage of Tywyn on the west Wales coast of Cardigan Bay.

Since the 30s  emergency repairs have been carried out on numerous occasions and falling beach levels have increased the  risk of undermining the sea walls with the potential of collapse.

Further storms in the Irish Sea could cause  additional erosion of the beach and more decay to the timber groynes, leading to an increased risk of  damage to the sea wall and future flooding of around 80 homes on the low lying land behind the 1.8 km long  promenade frontage.

To prevent further erosion and damage to Tywyn’s sea defences, Gwynedd Council has started on an extensive repair project, which will reduce overtopping of the sea-wall and improve access and amenity of the beach for the local community, visitors and tourists.

A new rock armoured breakwater will be built, together with new beach material and new rock groynes and rock revetment protection. In addition there will be repairs to the slipway and access steps, refurbishment and  improvements to the promenade and replacement of the existing 32 dilapidated timber groynes, along the entire length of the beach frontage, with 27 new ones. Many of the timber groynes are in a very poor state and are obstructing and preventing access along the beach.

The $10 million Tywyn Coastal Defence Scheme is being funded by $6 million from the Welsh Assembly Government together with $4 million from the European Regional Development Fund. Consulting engineer Atkins has designed the scheme for Gwynedd Council. Atkins also designed  a similar sea defence project, completed in 2009, about 60 km down the coast.

Atkins is also supervising the Tywyn project’s construction by main contractor Jones Bros Ruthin (Civil Engineering). Jones Bros of Denbighshire,started on site in January 2010 and has been under close and constant scrutiny from the public watching their activities  from the protection of the overlooking promenade gallery.

Jones Bros had initially planned to use new 305 mm by 305 mm square section greenheart timber piles for the replacement groynes, but these were on an approximate four to five month delivery, which could possibly have delayed the start of the piling and adversely influenced the project’s overall programme. One of the first tasks for Jones Bros  was to build the main new breakwater with some of the 60,000 t of rock imported from St Malo, France and Penmaenmawr, North Wales. This was followed by working between the tides removing all the old timber groynes, which ranged from 60 m to 120 m long, prior to replacing with fewer and new shorter groynes of 35 m to 45 m

Jones Bros had initially planned to use new 305 mm by 305 mm square section greenheart timber piles for the replacement groynes, but these were on an approximate  four to five month delivery, which could possibly have delayed the start of the piling and adversely influenced the project’s overall programme.

However, the contractor was fortunate in locating some second hand greenheart piles that had only been used once on a temporary scheme in Scotland and were available at short notice. As these were in very good condition Atkins and Gwynedd  Council agreed they could be recycled and reused with the appropriate pyramid shaped  steel pointed shoes  and steel reinforcing top rings fitted.

[cont . . ]

 

 

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