Project to replace coastal navigation aids wins engineering award

Southbay Civil Engineering Limited and Wirral Council have been awarded the Civil Engineering Contractors Association Small Project of the Year award for the North West Region.

The award relates to the successful delivery of the New Brighton Aids to Navigation scheme, a technically and operationally challenging coastal project delivered at the height of the tourist season. The project involved the replacement of three navigational structures, originally constructed in the 1980s to mark submerged offshore coastal defences within the Mersey Estuary.

Recognition was given by the judges to the need for developing an alternative design which allowed the project to be delivered in accordance with a restricted budget and within a challenging tidal environment. This simplified design involved replacing the existing tripod arrangement with a single 508mm diameter concrete filled monopile complete with sleeve.

The replacement navigation structures were installed from a 250 tonne jack up barge due to the need to work within the inter tidal zone. In addition to a piled foundation, the Navigational Aids also include a superstructure which consists of a gantry complete with handrailing.

The superstructure was pre-fabricated off-site, allowing it to be installed in a single lift, thereby minimising the onsite programme. The new navigational structures include a fixed light which can be seen for three nautical miles. Upon completion the existing structures were dismantled.

Antony Ballantyne, Operations Director at Southbay Civil Engineering said: “We are delighted at securing such a prestigious award which recognises the excellent working relationship maintained between both client and contractor throughout all stages of project delivery. In working collaboratively, we were able to develop an alternative design solution which not only delivered increased value, but also significantly reduced disruption when working throughout the busy tourist season.”

Wirral Council leader, Cllr Janette Willamson, added, “Congratulations to everyone involved in this project, including the council’s own flood and coastal risk team. The relationship they and the contractors built up enabled both sides to get a clear understanding of what each needed to achieve, which from our side included remaining within a restricted budget. This award is testimony to the innovative and collaborative way the works were conceived and then carried out.”

The Jack Leg Rig currently replacing groyne Markers in New Brighton on the Wirral and the cranes from Liverpool 2 container terminal on the far bank of the River Mersey in Liverpool.