Construction of Cowes’ New Breakwater Progresses Well (UK)

Work on the construction of a new breakwater structure at the mouth of Cowes Harbour, which will transform the port into a true sheltered harbourage, has successfully moved into the third stage of this vital 18-month coastal protection project.

Cowes Harbour Commission’s appointed contractors Boskalis Westminster, world leaders in the design and construction of breakwaters, have completed the installation of an initial 1.5 metre layer of sand and gravel along the breakwater footprint (350m x 50m) and inserted a total of 11,000 wick drains to draw out water, thereby improving the ground bearing capacity of the seabed.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh, Harbour Master at Cowes, said: “Construction on Cowes’ new detached breakwater is progressing extremely well and we have now commenced stage three of the 2014 works program which is the placing of a geotextile membrane on top of the sand and gravel layer. This phase of the operation, carried out during daylight hours by a large barge and multi-cat, will run up to the start of August and Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week as planned.”

The Exclusion Zone that is in place around the submerged breakwater and construction area will remain in place during the Cowes Week regatta; all harbour users and competitors are strongly advised to take careful note of the Cowes Local Notices to Mariners for the most up-to-date information on the extent and shape of the Exclusion Zone, which is shown by lit buoys and cardinal marks.

A 300 metre long floating orange and black pipeline, also lit, is anchored parallel to the breakwater on its northern side, and a 60 metre barge may be positioned anywhere along the breakwater footprint. For their safety, all vessels must ensure they stay outside of this Exclusion Zone and enter or depart Cowes Harbour via the fairway or Small Craft Channel.

Following a recent agreement between Cowes Harbour Commission and Boskalis Westminster, the fourth stage of construction on the breakwater is now set to start after Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and will see the installation of the breakwater’s gravel core up to between 4 and 5 metres above chart datum using a trailing suction hopper dredger, floating pipeline and spraying pontoon.

When the crest of the breakwater is visible above the water surface, the spraying pontoon will then be utilised to spray gravel against the slopes of the breakwater. The gravel will be left to consolidate for one month prior to being raised up to 5 metres above chart datum along the whole length of the breakwater.

By this September, and during a nine month period over the autumn and winter to allow for settlement of the gravel core, the breakwater will resemble a gravel spit and will only begin to take its final finished appearance during the 2015 works.

Press Release, July 24, 2014

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Posted on July 24, 2014 with tags , .


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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews ( holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee:

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