Fighting Back Against the Tide at Dover Seafront

Dover Seafront - Photo Credit: © Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Marine Parade in Dover is a busy stretch of seafront which leads to the A20, the Dover Ferry Wharf, and to the north of the town. Due to the constant exposure to the vigorous tide the seawall, over time, has become weaker. This risk of erosion is potentially dangerous and this could severely threaten the busy costal area, Marine Parade.

Building beach defences

To prevent further damage to the seawall and to preserve the Marine Parade, main contractors JT Mackley were brought in to create a suitable sea defence which would protect this beautiful coastline from the tide. The experts at JT Mackley decided to build a series of rock groynes, as well as repairing the existing damage to the rock wall. The rock groynes are designed to prevent the movement of beach material up the coast, and to encourage the beach build up around the sea wall. This would hopefully protect the coastline which could have a positive benefit on local tourism. The rock used in this project was delivered by boat form Norway and is designed to last 50 years.

As well as creating the modern defences, repairs to the existing defences needed to be completed. This included removing and replacing the existing gunite from a section of the wall which was built in 1922, repairing the 1946 section of the wall and repairing areas of the wall coping.

Quick drying solution

London based concrete repair specialists UK Gunite Ltd were the sub-contractors for the project and asked SIG Construction Accessories, Thurrock to supply £30,000 of concrete spray to help protect the sea defences. The concrete spray that was chosen for the project was the weber.cem spray RS which is a ready-to-use, polymer-modified, dry-sprayed concrete, ideal for permanent concrete repairs which require quick drying. Dan Meheux of SIG CA Thurrock recommended the product. "The customer needed a product which would be capable of protecting the coastal defence against tidal action and flowing water which is why we recommended weber.cem spray RS. This product sets very quickly which makes it ideal for use in tidal zones and it also offers long term protection as it prevents wash out from tidal waters. We have worked with UK Gunite Ltd many times in the past so they trusted our recommendation."

As the work took place within the tidal zone, it was dictated by tidal movement and this meant deliveries had to be precisely timed so that the materials were available when the tide was low. Dan continues, “Deliveries had to be done intermittently because of limited access and storage on site, as well as the fact that the contractor was working to the tidal movements".

The seawall is now protected and was completed in 2014 meaning Marine Parade can be enjoyed for many years to come.

© Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence