Rye Harbour Western Training Wall

designated Sites

SSSI, SPA & Ramsar


Design & build


Cantilevered & anchored


Active RNLI station

This project involved replacing approximately 1475m steel sheet piling that forms the western training wall of the River Rother at Rye Harbour.

We’ve gone full circle at Rye as Mackley originally constructed the quay in 1937, so we were removing piles that we had installed some 75 years before as they reached the end of their design life.

Rye Harbour sits in a highly protected environment with SSSI, SPA and Ramsar designation.

The training wall itself is vital to the maintenance of the harbour’s navigation, but it is also an important habitat for local wildlife and migratory birds.

Throughout the project, we therefore had to take great care to protect the natural environment.

The works included the design and construction of a sheet piled wall with steel capping. The new piles were designed to be cantilever piles except for the 50m next to the RNLI which were anchored (all the original piles were also anchored). We installed 8 new marker posts, fitted steel frames clad with timber to the new piles, and removed approximately 1,050m of existing steel sheet piled wall.

Main features of the project included:

  • Improving the formation of the access road so that we could track and use crawler cranes to install the piles.
  • Using 3 135 tonne crawler cranes, a 120 tonne crawler crane and a 100 tonne crawler crane, working from the land to put in the piles.
  • Utilising a 65 tonne crawler crane working on a jack up barge installing the piles.
  • A 35 tonne excavator fitted with demolition shears on a jack up barge was used to assist with removal of the redundant piles.
  • The 50 metres of piles adjacent to the RNLI have a concrete capping beam and slabs behind the piles.

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