Maintenance facility upgrade for Dart Harbour
Sub Marine Services Ltd (SMS) of Falmouth Docks has recently completed a project to upgrade Dart Harbour & Navigation Authority’s (DHNA) Hoodown Maintenance Facility at Kingswear in Devon.
SMS supplied a 36m by 10.5m spudleg crane barge supporting a deck mounted 80 tonne crawler crane and additional ancillary equipment to carry out the over water construction work, with additional services being supplied by Ladds Concrete Products and Walcon Marine.
The concrete apron extension was installed in large precast sections supported by 15 driven 457mm diameter tubular steel piles at the front of the existing workshop facility, and 27 drilled mini-piles on the shoreside.
The project also involved prior demolition of a brick annex building and existing southern pier, remediation of a contaminated landside tank, installation of a 10 tonne deck crane and provision of a suitable fendering system. Following installation of the new piled apron, a new access bridge and landing pontoon were installed and an existing berthing pontoon was reinstated adjoining it.
Due to access problems on the Kingswear side, all materials, plant and equipment had to be loaded at the South Embankment in Dartmouth and carried across the river Dart to Hoodown on board the SMS crane barge or by DHNA’s moorings barge Hercules. For the limited volume of in situ/poured concrete required, readymix lorries were stationed on the Dartmouth Embankment and the concrete was pumped into concrete skips on board the barge for transportation across the river.
The new facility will enable DHNA to service and maintain all of its 270 pontoons and around 1600 buoys in-house, providing a considerable cost saving on previously outsourced services. Thanks to these savings, the Harbour Authority believes the maintenance facility will pay for itself with 12 to 15 years.
Rob Giles, Dart Harbour Master said, “This has been an extensive project costing a considerable sum but it is a vital investment for the authority to be able to ensure that the infrastructure of the river, to include all moorings and pontoons, can be improved and maintained. This is an excellent and very necessary improvement to our moorings’ maintenance facility, and it gives us the ability to service the vast majority of our own infrastructure more cheaply than outsourcing the work to other organisations. The whole river from the castles in Dartmouth to Totnes will benefit from the project.”
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