Weekly Update – 23 February 2024

Sheets going down!

Sheet piling is once again underway at the Southsea Coastal Scheme. This time we’re using 2.5 metre re-purposed steel sheet piles at the sub-frontage 3/4 boundary – next to the Blue Reef Aquarium.   These sheet piles are driven into the ground underneath the precast concrete wall units, which are integral to the primary sea defence on this frontage. Completing this part of the works will allow workable access to sub-frontage 4 in late Spring (Blue Reef to Southsea Castle), as well as starting on the works at Sub Frontage 3 (which will run from Blue Reef to Hovertravel).


A step in time

Step by step we’re getting there! Great progress this week as we’re almost halfway through installation of the step revetments on sub-frontage 5 (Pyramids to Speakers’ Corner).  The new stepped revetment is an exciting element of the improvement to the public realm as well as being an essential part of the primary flood defence. The design intent is that this flood defence feature starting at Speakers’ Corner, will run along the seafront, improving coastal flood protection and creating easier access to the beach.


We’ve got a chip on our boulder

Within our eco-trail gardens by the bandstand field we’ve re-used granite gun turrets recovered from the old sea defences in front of Southsea Castle. The gardens are a great opportunity to showcase materials which historically played a part in the defence of our city – reminding us of Portsmouth’s rich cultural heritage.  On the boulder in the photo, we hope you can see an image of a Brent Goose set into the stone. Brent Geese famously land each winter on Southsea Common for their holidays before embarking on their long journey back to Siberia. We wonder if you will be able to spot the outlines of other popular animals set into the granite boulders when we open in May…


Spotlight on…Hendrik-Jan

Hendrik-Jan is our marine project manager here at the Southsea Coastal Scheme. He has more than 25 years in the industry working on worldwide projects and is now supervising the rock work happening along the seafront. As a child he loved playing in the sea and on the sand with toy machinery. He then went on to graduate from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in dredging technology, project management and coastal offshore defence. Hendrik-Jan has many hobbies and interests which include festivals, travelling, driving, spending time with friends, and listening to live music…especially (and, most appropriately) rock!

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