A £6 million investment project to install a new set of lock gates at Milford Dock in Pembrokeshire is progressing well and is set to complete in July 2014.
The EU-backed Dock Lock project is part of a wider Milford Dock Master Plan which aims to create a new waterfront destination at Milford and boost tourism in the area.
Premier Construction caught up with David Thomas, Project Manager with Port of Milford Haven, to find out more about the scheme. He told us:
“One of the purposes of the Dock Lock project is to significantly enhance the locking times and make it one of the most successful locks in Great Britain. The project has taken a huge amount of design, development and commercial negotiations. We went through a full procurement process in 2012 and awarded the civil engineering contract to McLaughlin & Harvey in the summer of 2013.
“A separate contract was then awarded to Ravenstein, a Dutch company, who will carry out the installation of the lock gates as well as all the M & E works. £800,000 of the £6 million investment has been received from the Visit Wales Scheme for Coastal Tourism project which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund for the Welsh Government. This fund has been set up to encourage tourism along the Welsh coastline and has played a big part in making the project happen.”
Work began on site in August 2013 with the ground preparation being undertaken by subcontractors Quinn Piling. The Quinn team installed steel tubes either side of the lock throughout September and October before installing the pile caps, which connect the piles together on both sides, in November and December.
Excavation of the lock walls and lock bed began in January 2014 in preparation for the installation of the sill. Divers were onsite to carry out surveys to check on the depth, level and success of the excavation. The sill has now been installed which was a milestone for the team.
McLaughlin & Harvey will have completed their contract by June 2014 and then Ravenstein will install the lock’s gates, which they are currently constructing off site. The Dutch company will take two to three weeks to complete their part of the works and then the project will be complete.
David Thomas added:
“It has been a very interesting project so far. We have managed to work with residents and the fishing and leisure craft community by conducting a series of public exhibitions before the commencement of the works. These provided a great opportunity to speak with people and we found that mostly everyone was positive and wanted the project to happen as quickly and as safely as possible.
“The port also has its own communications and marketing department and they have been helpful by carrying out letter drops when we have anticipated noisy activity. One of the biggest coordination tasks was to ensure that we maintained operation through the lock throughout construction. The contractors have done well working around this and there have been no lock closures since the start of the job.”
David said it was a fascinating project to be a part of:
“These types of schemes don’t come up very often and I can’t wait to see the finished article. It has been amazing to see the evolution of the project from the start to the end.”