Sea wall repairs completed at Chesil Cove

Working on behalf of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and the Environment Agency, Team Van Oord has successfully completed works to repair the storm-battered sea wall at Chesil Cove on Portland.

As a result of a combination of persistent wet weather and extremely high tides, 2013/14 was the wettest winter on record. The south coast was particularly hard hit and experienced coastal erosion and flooding on an unprecedented scale. Many coastal stretches saw dramatic and sudden beach stripping which put other coastal defences at increased risk of erosion.

During the storms in January 2013, heavy winds and strong tides hit the Dorset coast hard, damaging sections of the sea wall and stripping Chesil Beach of 300,000m3 of shingle. Beach levels were reduced by up to four metres, exposing the foundations of the sea wall and increasing the potential for further damage.

The borough council and Environment Agency made a swift decision to appoint Team Van Oord, to enable the repair work to be commenced as soon as possible.

For the past few months Team Van Oord has been involved in rebuilding and strengthening work, including sheet piling and a mixture of concrete and rock armour to offer further protection and stability to the wall.

Other works have included repairs to the slipways used by fishermen, fixing handrails and repairing surface damage such as minor cracks.

Ben Murray, head of infrastructure at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “It is great news that the sea wall is now fully repaired and open to the public. The work was crucial to ensure the sea wall continues to offer the same level of protection it was designed for prior to the storms.

“All the work has been completed with minimum disruption and with no incident and we would like to thank the public for their patience while the work took place.”

Team Van Oord is continuing with works to repair and replenish Chesil Beach at Chiswell (see pic above). These works are expected to continue for the next few months, and once complete will return flood defences to their original level of protection.

Team Van Oord was also involved in several other flood relief and flood defence projects during the early part of 2014. These included supporting the Environment Agency on flood alleviation projects on the Somerset Levels and at Winchester and Romsey in Hampshire.

20 June 2014