Cowes breakwater project

When completed, the breakwater will be a 350m long, detached rock armoured breakwater that protects existing homes, businesses and harbour users Photo: Flickr/CHC When completed, the breakwater will be a 350m long, detached rock armoured breakwater that protects existing homes, businesses and harbour users Photo: Flickr/CHC

The UK’s Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) says that construction of its new breakwater is progressing as scheduled with Boskalis Westminster having completed installation of the gravel pre-load.

In total, Boskalis has deposited 51,000m3 to bring the crest of the gravel core up to between 3.7 and 4.4m above chart datum. Five settlement beacons have also been installed on top of the breakwater which will be monitored until Spring 2015.

Meanwhile, Boskalis will return later this month to reshape the breakwater using an excavator and floating spud-legged barge. The breakwater will then need to be left for a period of eight months to allow settlement and strengthen the subsoil. Final reshaping and the placement of rock armour will take place later in 2015.

The result will be a 350m long, detached rock armoured breakwater that protects existing homes, businesses and harbour users.

Construction of the new detached breakwater for Cowes began in May 2014. The £7.5m project is being funded with £3m of inward investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with CHC contributing the remainder of the cost.

Before construction of the breakwater, the harbour commissioners carried out tidal flow modelling which ascertained that tides above the Mean High Water Springs (4.2m) may result in higher tidal flows than expected. All harbour users were warned to take these tide flows into account and further monitoring is due to be carried out in November.

Meanwhile, the breakwater is marked with five yellow lights and two additional buoys at its eastern and western ends for safety purposes.

By Anne-Marie Causer 

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