Construction Enquirer News Dutch walking platform to be used for piling Dawlish railway line sea defence

BAM Nuttall has called in a unique walking jack-up platform to carry out piling work on the next stage of South Devon’s Dawlish sea wall job.

The ‘WaveWalker’ is the only one of its kind in Europe and it will be the first time this type of barge has been used to maintain the rail network.

The next section of the £80m upgrade will take around two years to complete and follows years of detailed studies, designs and joint working between world-leading marine, coastal and railway engineering experts.

The innovative eight-legged walking jack-up barge stated work yesterday and is able to operate across high tidal ranges that particularly impact the south Devon coastline, that would otherwise restrict the number of hours it is possible to safely work on the sea wall.

Once complete the 415m section of new sea wall will be higher than the existing wall and is designed with a curved edge to send waves back towards the sea.

Huw Jones, Divisional Director Rail, BAM Nuttall said: “Working in this environment requires imaginative solutions and innovative thinking and our use of the WaveWalker is a great example of that.”

“The jack-up barge allows us to work safely on the foundations of a new sea-wall on a 24-7 basis, regardless of tides.

“Using the WaveWalker to deliver this phase of work means we can complete the work more cost effectively, allowing us to minimise impact on passengers whilst significantly reducing the time that this work impacts the local community.

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