Shoreham Port’s Engineering Division has been working on a long term project to restore the coast defences on Southwick Beach. Since the project commenced in May 2013 the team has restored two timber groynes, completed two and half shingle transfers and in the last few weeks restored a further two groynes.
The Engineering Division conduct two shingle transfers each year, one in the spring and the second in the autumn, too assist with the littoral drift effect. In total, the team plans to move over 27,000 tonnes of shingle from Shoreham to Southwick beaches during 2014. The shingle transfers go hand in hand with the restoration of the groynes. The groynes control the flow of shingle and the beach acts as a natural absorber of wave energy. Without sufficient coast protection the explosive force of the waves would have a detrimental effect on coastal land.
“Replacing the groynes is a continuing operation” says Keith Wadey, Assistant Port Engineer at Shoreham Port. “The groynes are an integral part of sea defence construction and due to shingle movements eroding the timber on a daily basis; the groynes have an average life span of just twenty years. With the number of groynes we have down at Shoreham this means continual maintenance is required, to ensure the beach is kept in good condition and able to continue to protect the adjoining roads and buildings.”
Shoreham Port has been working closely with construction company Mackley on the restoration of the groynes. Mike O’Reilly, Site Manager at Mackley commented “After a struggle at the beginning of the year, losing a large amount of the beach during the storms, I am pleased to report that we are now on track to complete the works on the two new groynes by the end of May. The facing works are complete and the groyne framing is in place, so the focus over the next few weeks will be the completion of the timber works and stair cases. We look forward to returning the beach to the local community to enjoy over the coming summer months.”
Did you know?
The groynes at Shoreham are constructed out of a type of timber called GreenHeart. GreenHeart is an incredibly dense timber that is particularly resilient in stormy conditions. GreenHeart timber is also used on the Port’s lock gates.