Hundreds of people are descending on Holland Haven to witness a major £36 million coastal defense scheme get underway.
Twice a day on the high tide a shallow draft dredging vessel is pumping hundreds of cubic meters of sand and gravel onto the existing beaches. The material is being is being brought in from a Crown Estate licensed borrow area about 194-miles offshore and “rainbowed” onto the shore.
The aim is to build up platforms from where 23 new fishtail groynes will be built with rock which will be shipped in from Norway.
The Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger Sospan Dau started work last week and will be moving along the coast towards Clacton Pier. It will be in operation until August 11 and will return in September.
At the same time main contractor VBA Joint Venture is proceeding with removing the old concrete and timber groynes from the first 1km phase of works, with the program being project managed by Mott MacDonald.
Once the new groynes are in place a further beach recharge will be carried out in phases taking the total amount of material to around 950,000 cubic meters.
Nick Turner, Tendring District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Coast Protection, said the recharge is an amazing sight and is attracting a lot of attention.
“People are watching in amazement as this massive rainbow of sand and gravel is being spewed from the vessel onto the shoreline,” he said.
“We are already getting a great deal of positive feedback from residents and beach hut owners. They are enjoying watching the process and know that they will have fantastic new beaches once the scheme is completed in around 18 months.
“I would urge anyone who is interested to get down there to see the work in action.”
The new coastal defenses will protect more than 3,000 residential and commercial properties for the next 100 years and will act as a catalyst for the renaissance of the seafront.
They will open up a whole range of investment and regeneration opportunities and help create new jobs.
Mark Johnson, Area Coastal Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “It is great to see this major project progressing at pace and it is an exciting time for all involved with the project.”
Essex County Councillor John Jowers, Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning, said: “The initiative is of vital importance to this stretch of the Tendring Coastline and we are delighted to have helped fund the scheme. It will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike for many years to come.”
Press Release, August 4, 2014