2016 has been a busy, productive and exciting year for everyone involved with Team Van Oord – here’s a quick-fire, month-by-month round up of some of the key highlights and achievements.
January saw Team Van Oord helping to repair damage caused by the storms of December 2015. In particular, work to plug huge holes in the promenade and sea wall at Southsea received high praise from both the then Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss and the Leader of Portsmouth City Council.
An award-winning month for Team Van Oord, with the Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence Scheme taking centre stage at the 2016 Environment Agency Project Excellence Awards. Elsewhere, Team Van Oord successfully removed a narrow boat which had become stranded on the River Thames in Oxford, alleviating the flood risk.
March saw the completion of a number of projects including the new £6m flood defences on Portsea Island’s northern shore, while the Broomhill Sands scheme was described as a ‘massive success story’ by the Environment Agency.
Working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Teignbridge District Council, Team Van Oord successfully completed repairs to Teignmouth’s promenade and re-opened the area in time for the Easter weekend. Meanwhile, around 40 members of the IOSH South Downs Branch enjoyed an interesting and informative visit to the Clay’s Lake flood prevention scheme.
The Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence Scheme once again took centre stage in May; the scheme’s official opening was quickly followed by news that it had been nominated for two BCI Awards. In other awards news, a challenging culvert restoration project carried out by Team Van Oord at Radstock, near Bath, was highly commended in the 2016 Constructing Excellence South West Built Environment Awards. Elsewhere, there was news of breeding success at RSPB Medmerry.
June saw the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme – no stranger to success – recognised on a global stage at an international awards ceremony in Miami, USA. Elsewhere, a delegation of senior managers from the Environment Agency enjoyed a site visit to the flood alleviation scheme at Clay’s Lake.
July was another impressive month for the Broomhill Sands scheme, picking up three more awards including ‘Project of the Year’ in the prestigious 2016 Constructing Excellence in London and South East Awards and the prestigious Brassey Award (Kent & East Sussex) for Engineering Excellence. Elsewhere, Team Van Oord picked up its first EA Midlands project and was named by the Environment Agency as preferred bidder on the Saffron Waldon Town Centre Culvert Scheme.
In August, the landlord of a riverside pub and restaurant expressed his appreciation for the way in which Team Van Oord planned and executed a project on the banks of the Great Ouse in Norfolk. Team Van Oord also began a programme of major refurbishment works at East Farleigh Lock on the River Medway.
In September, a project to strengthen the banks of the Whittlesey Washes flood reservoir was completed a year early, coming in £10m under budget. On the global stage, the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme was showcased at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.
In October, Team Van Oord commenced work on two schemes with a combined value of £4m to provide improved protection against flooding for communities in the Midlands. Meanwhile, Sir James Bevan visited the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme to see ‘Exercise Certus’ test the site’s resilience. On the east coast, the Lincshore beach re-nourishment works were showcased at an annual gathering of Europe’s coastal engineers.
November saw Team Van Oord assume the role of ‘incident response’ lead in three EA regions, meaning it will play a key role in the Government’s response to flooding incidents during winter 2016/17. Elsewhere, Team Van Oord topped the rankings in an annual sustainability assessment programme carried out by the Environment Agency.
The year concluded with a visit to the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme by a delegation including the Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom, who was ‘impressed’ by the scheme which, when complete, will protect almost 2,500 homes and businesses in the area. Team Van Oord was also praised for helping to protect the Wiltshire town of Bradford on Avon from flooding during the recent Storm Angus.