Shoreham Port’s determination and consultant Arcadis’s expertise in identifying the source and then alleviating the effects of tar leaking onto the foreshore at Portslade has led to a second prestigious award, this time for ‘Geo-environmental Project of the Year’.
The award was presented at the ‘Ground Engineering Awards’ held at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in London. The Ground Engineering Awards are the flagship event for the geotechnical profession and the Project of the Year Award is made for a geo-environmental scheme that stands out in terms of innovation, quality, sustainability and value engineering.
Two factors were of particular importance to their success; namely the effective and collaborative delivery of the project through close cooperation between the Port and Arcadis and their strong inclusion strategy for other stakeholders, especially the local community, Brighton & Hove City Council and the Environment Agency.
The project began when mysterious oil slicks appeared on the beach and in the sea at Portslade over two years ago. The tarry substance smelled so strong that it caused serious upset to beach users and local residents up to a mile away
After a skillful, wide-ranging investigation by the Port’s consultants Arcadis, working closely with the Port’s in-house engineering team, the source of the tar was identified as a multitude of underground tanks and pipes left over from the demolished coal gas works that used to occupy a thirty acre site at the east end of the Port.
The route the tar was taking underground from the source to the foreshore was also identified and a solar-powered oil-skimming machine was installed in a borehole on the route to intercept the flow of oil. So far, there has been no reoccurrence of the oil slicks or smell.
Tony Parker, Director of Engineering at the Port commented “We are completely stunned but incredibly proud to have won such an esteemed honour as this. Our heart-felt thanks and congratulations go to everyone associated with the project from the Port, Arcadis and the local community.”
The picture shows Arcadis Directors George Flower and Colin Plum, Project Site Manager Laura Cohu and Tony Parker being presented the award by Groundsure Engineering Director, Dan Montagnani and comedian Marcus Brigstock.