Work underway to improve sea defences on critical part of the Kent coastline

Works are underway to improve sea defences along a 3.7km stretch of the Kent coastline between Hythe and Dymchurch, the beach frontage of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) firing range.

The Hythe Ranges Sea Defence project is being carried out by Van Oord working in partnership with Mackley and on behalf of the Environment Agency.

A key element of the scheme is the refurbishment of timber groynes, with Mackley installing a total of 23 groynes – the longest of which is 104 metres – in two phases.

Phase one of the groyne refurbishment – which got underway in April and is now complete – saw Mackley install the first eight groynes and repair a number of others.

Phase two is now in progress, with the remainder of the groynes set to be refurbished by October.

One of the main aims of the project is to protect the Dymchurch Redoubt, a scheduled historic monument. The protection includes a new rock revetment and sheet piled wall.

In July, 38,000t of imported rock will be shipped to the site via a coaster, before being transferred to a barge for delivery to the foreshore.

The construction of a new steel sheet piled wall will take place behind the existing seawall, in order to reinforce the structure. This will incorporate a passive earthworks embankment.

The sheet piles will be installed using the earthworks embankment as a piling platform.

The scheme also includes a beach shingle recharge, which is scheduled to be completed over the coming months.

During August 300,000 m3 of shingle will be pumped ashore via a 1.5km submerged pipeline. A fleet of bulldozers, excavators and dump trucks will then distribute it between the groyne bays.

The project team is actively working with the MOD to maximise the continuation of training at the facility throughout the works.

The team has also put in place additional welfare measures, such as regular cleaning and social distancing, in order to keep construction going throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

In line with Mackley’s sustainability policy, we are using solar powdered site cabins to keep the carbon footprint low.

22 June 2020

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