VSBW, a joint venture between VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster, is responsible for the delivery of marine works and associated structures for the Port of Dover’s flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) stage 1 and 2. This is one of the largest port development projects to be constructed in the UK at the moment.
The first phase of marine infrastructure construction for the DWDR development has a total contract value of £115m (VSBWn - £94m). It includes the design and build of two new berths, quay walls and land reclamation, a new marina pier, marina curve, navigation channel and new lock gates, a bascule bridge and capital dredging work.
Walking piling rig
Innovative thinking has been the hallmark of this team, resulting in the commission of a revolutionary temporary works system – a walking piling gate, a custom-built piece of equipment to install large diameter tubular piles. The walking piling gate improved the safety, environmental standards and efficiency of the construction process by significantly increasing the number of piles that were driven daily.
The new marina pier was designed with dual functionality as a new public promenade and a breakwater to protect vessels in the new marina. The design solution has sustainability, safety and ease of manufacturing and assembly at its core.
Minimising the environmental impact through the construction phase
Throughout the construction, there have been periods when much of the work has involved some intense activity and noise, which have affected both nearby residents and the wider community, along with the leisure and sailing fraternities associated with the port. Using long established relationships within the community the Port of Dover ensured there was regular targeted communication with local groups, and individual stakeholders about any potential disruption and any resultant mitigation was accommodated by VSBW through amendment to programme. An example of this was the suspension of piling over lunchtimes to minimise the impact on a seafront restaurant’s trade.
VSBW also worked collaboratively with the Port to identify key periods of community impact, and consequently, brochures and information leaflets were also produced to reassure residents, owners and customers of seafront-based hospitality establishments about the effects of noise emanating from the site.
Creating a lasting legacy for the local community
A key element was to encourage localisation through use of local labour force, contractors and suppliers. Since work started on DWDR at the beginning of 2017, of the 308 people who have worked on the site - 48% live within East Kent and 39% within the immediate Folkestone – Dover – Deal – Sandwich area. Women account for 16% of VSBW’s Dover workforce – above the industry average of 9%. With a dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) ambassador working with a number of local primary and secondary schools, and attendance at job fairs for young local jobseekers, VSBW continue to add value to the Port’s engagement with young people. Five apprentices and a representative selection of graduates worked on the development and VSBW have spent over 1,599 hours volunteering in the local community and invested £49,262 into community initiatives.
Dover Western Docks Revival is enhancing this key piece of national infrastructure by providing further capacity to keep the Port of Dover resilient for the long term and providing a game changing opportunity for the regeneration of Dover.