A vital connection is underway to link the historic and new marina facilities together as work continues for the delivery of a fantastic new waterfront for Dover.
Removal of part of the old 19 Century sea wall has begun in order to make way for the new Wellington Navigation Channel as part of the Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development.
This is a key step in the marine civil engineering works for the project, as it will open up a new navigational route for all pleasure vessels entering or leaving the Wellington Dock from the forthcoming new marina.
Removal of sea wall
The removal of the old sea wall is a necessary first step before piling work starts at the Wellington Dock, connecting the old facility to the the new Western Docks.
Jack Goodhew, General manager – special projects, port of dover, said: “Connectivity is an important part of DWDR, linking old and new parts of the waterfront and the wider Port estate, such as the historic Cruise Terminal 1, to create a new destination for Dover that our community and visitors alike can explore.”
Earlier this spring, Archaeology South East monitored the partial excavation of the remaining old sea wall. Very little is known on the actual construction of the sea wall frrom archives; however it has been estimated from Archaeology South East that it would have been built around 1860 before being covered by a new sea wall and promenade in the 1960’s.
Construction of the wellington navigation channel
Following the removal of the old sea wall, the installation of a sheet pile cofferdam will start, which is required to allow the construction of reinforced concrete walls and the base of the cut. The sheet piles will be installed using large specialist equipment.
Stuart Eckersley, project director for VSBW, said: “We have given special consideration to the local environment by bringing the sheet pile delivery directly into the port via barges to minimise the impact on the surrounding roads and community.”
The new Wellington Navigation Channel will also include the construction of a new bascule bridge and a pedestrian footpath behind the orginal seawall, connecting the new marina curve and marina to the seafront esplanade, enabling further connectivity on the waterfront.
Taking care of our heritage
The Grade-II listed Fairbairn Crane, carefully restored in 2014 by the Port of Dover, is a historic England scheduled ancient monument and situated 50 metres from where the piling works will be carried out.
In close co-operation with the heritage regulators, VSBW has incorported a range of mitigation measures into the final engineering solution to ensure the preservation of this structure close to the Wellington Dock.