BAM’s work on Dawlish seawall reaches final stages

BAM’s work on new, bigger seawall to protect railway and town of Dawlish is reaching final stages.


According to the latest project update, work on the construction of the £80 million seawall has reached its final phases as a new link bridge and stilling basin near completion at Colonnade viaduct.

BAM photo

Work on the second 415-metre second section – stretching from Coastguard breakwater northeast of Dawlish station to Colonnade breakwater – with its wider, safer public promenade began in November 2020 following the completion of the first section – which runs for 360 metres from Colonnade to Boat Cove – which opened to the public in July 2020.

The second section of seawall reached a major milestone last August with the installation of all 164 wall panels, 203 pre-cast blocks and 189 recurve units, which return waves back out to sea. 

Since then, Network Rail’s contractors BAM Nuttall have focused on joining the two sections of wall with a link bridge that runs parallel to Colonnade viaduct and building a new stilling basin, where Dawlish Water runs under the viaduct and into the sea.

Step-free access from Colonnade underpass to King’s Walk promenade along the completed first section of seawall has been temporarily closed since autumn last year to keep everyone safe while the team has been working night and day in the confined space.

But with heavy machinery now removed from the beach and new paving installed, Network Rail has opened the first span underneath the viaduct to allow the public onto this section once more.

The new link bridge, stilling basin area and promenade and beach between Colonnade and Coastguard breakwaters will remain closed for now while work continues in this area.