Residents acclaim ‘first class job’ in Portsmouth


Local residents have given Mackley a big ‘thumbs up’ for the way it is carrying out a coastal defence scheme in Portsmouth.

Work is well underway for a £6m flood protection scheme at Anchorage Park, Portsmouth. The scheme is being delivered by Mackley working as part of Team Van Oord*. An exhibition was held for local residents on 7 September, which received high praise from those who attended.

The scheme, which will reduce the risk of coastal flooding and erosion to the area over the next 100 years, was awarded to Team Van Oord by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, and made possible by funding awarded to Portsmouth City Council by the Environment Agency.

The scheme involves the construction of 1.4km of coastal defences along the north of Portsea Island between Ports Creek Railway Bridge and Kendall’s Wharf.

The drop-in exhibition provided an opportunity for local people to find out more about the construction work and see behind the scenes photos, videos and other information – and meet and chat to the project team.

One visitor to the exhibition described it as “very informative, clearly aimed at the general public”.

Video courtesy of the Eastern Coastal Solent Partnership

With regard to how the project is being delivered, one local resident said: “I have been in civil engineering for the past 45 years and your contractors are probably the best organised I have encountered. Well done the team. Fantastic effort”

Another echoed those sentiments, saying: “Absolutely first class job delivered by the whole project team from the humblest gate men to the management. Well done to all!”

Another described the team on site as ‘very polite” and “always helpful”, while measures to limit inconvenience to the public were described as “well thought out and effective”.

To date, 1.4km of new embankment has been constructed using 52,000 tonnes of earth – sufficient to fill 10 Olympic size swimming pools. Team Van Oord’s specialist engineers have been regularly testing the earth throughout construction, at the on-site laboratory, to ensure it meets the specification.

Steve Martin, Mackley Contracts Manager for Anchorage Park, said: “We are now in the process of placing rocks over the top of the embankment to protect it from erosion. The rock is imported from Norway and has been specially selected due to its strength, weather resistance and durability.

“On the eastern side of the site we have been building a wall from gabions (stone filled wire baskets) which will support the new embankment once it is finished.”

As part of the work a new flood wall is being constructed around a bridge to reduce the risk of Eastern Road becoming a flood route. A new foundation has been created for the wall by driving more than 400 steel sheet piles into the ground, and the sheet piles have also been extended up and around the electricity substation in the vicinity.

Phase one construction works began in May 2015 and are expected to be complete during October 2015.

The wider scheme
Anchorage Park is the first stage of a wider scheme which will reduce the risk of flooding and erosion from the sea to 4,200 homes, 500 businesses and critical infrastructure, over the next 100 years.

The design of the defences incorporates ideas from local residents, offered during consultation events.

Once the defences are built, the area will be enhanced through an extensive replanting programme. This will increase the diversity of plants in the area, improving the current ecosystems and habitats for wildlife.

Paths along the coast will be improved as part of the scheme and the area will be planted with species chosen to enhance the local habitat.

29 September 2015

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