The second section of Dawlish’s new sea wall is moving along well with Network Rail successfully completing the installation of all 143 concrete wall panels.
BAM Nuttall, who Network Rail contracted to install the massive concrete panels, have worked incredibly hard over the past three months to complete the work in very difficult circumstances.
Each of the huge panels is between 6.09 and 6.69 meters and weighing in at an enormous 11.55 to 12.95 tonnes.
The panels have been lifted into place using a Linkbelt TCC 750 Telescopic Crane and then clipped into its location and followed by grout filling gaps between each panel.
To the back of the brand new panels, concrete is being poured which helps backfill between the old sea wall and the new concrete panels which will give the structure even more strength.
At Coastguard breakwater, engineers have also been installing the remaining piles alongside improving track drainage by drilling large holes in the stonework beneath the railway which is also known as coring.
With all the piles and panels now installed the next step of the project is fitting the curved wave returns on top of the panels which should be finished by September. Also part of the projects next steps is the building of new stairs down to the beach at Coastguard breakwater.
The building of the second section of sea wall at Dawlish is part of the £80 million upgrade and began in November 2020 with the overall project expected to be complete in November 2022.
Residents and visitors are reminded that during the work part of the beach and path between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren are closed with a diversion in place at Rockstone Bridge via Exeter Road.
Ewen Morrison, Network Rail senior programme manager for the Dawlish sea wall project, said: “It is so satisfying to see us reach this important landmark in the second section of the new sea wall now that all the piles and concrete wall panels have been installed.
“The excellent progress that has been made is testimony to the hard work and coordination of staff from Network Rail and our contractors BAM Nuttall, who have successfully worked under challenging conditions.
“As we near another step to completion, it is exciting to know the positive impact this project will have in Dawlish, helping protect the railway, town and wider south west region for at least the next 100 years.”
Yan Sayles, Project Manager, BAM Nuttall, said: “Reaching this milestone is a testament to the hard work of the personnel on site, who are currently working around the clock through all weather conditions to deliver this vital bit of infrastructure.
“Works in the tidal environment are extremely challenging. This, coupled with the unique logistical challenges, make this achievement even more impressive as the works have to be re-sequenced on a daily basis to take into account the tidal and weather conditions.”
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