The major upgrading of Kirkcaldy sea wall has been completed in a £9m project delivered on budget and geared to ensuring the sea wall’s longevity and its ability to protect the promenade and the properties along it.
The project, carried out for Fife Council by Main Contractors VolkerStevin, comprised a wide variety of works including: the placement of 80,000 tonnes of rock armour in front of the wall to break up waves; construction of a new higher wall to reduce flood risk; the resurfacing of the promenade – which was also raised in order to maintain sea views – and the improvement of beach access ramps and steps.
In total 544 precast units were used in the construction of the main sea wall and 378 precast units in the construction of the ramps.
Further works comprised the construction of two new ramps suitable for disabled access, the installation of new shelters, seating and street lighting, and the refurbishment of a historic plaque.
The contract was awarded in December 2012 and in the initial six months of the project VolkerStevin assisted the council in securing the necessary planning permission and consent for the project to proceed. Working with their design team, VolkerStevin assisted with the environmental impact assessment process, drawing on their experience of delivering other similar schemes.
Construction commenced in June 2013. Due to the nature of works along the promenade, the Kirkcaldy project has generated a high amount of public interest from the local community. To efficiently manage public liaison at the site, a public information centre was set up to enable the local community to meet the construction team and gain a greater understanding of the project.
Bob McLellan, Head of Transportation and Environmental Services said:
“I would like to thank the residents of Kirkcaldy for their patience, as these works have been on-going since July last year. I am positive that people will be delighted with the finished result, as it will be a more attractive place for local people and visitors to enjoy.
“Also, I would like to thank the contractor, VolkerStevin for their commitment to this project.”
Will Davies, VolkerStevin site agent said:
“We wish to thank the Kirkcaldy community for their patience and support while we restored the sea wall and promenade. We are delighted to have handed back a sea front that everyone involved in the scheme can be proud of.”
Cllr Neil Crooks, Chair of Kirkcaldy Area Committee, said:
“We’re finally here; it’s been a long time in the making. Come the New Year, there’ll be new coastal defences protecting Kirkcaldy.
“Kirkcaldy residents played a big part in the design of this sea wall. We listened to people’s view and made changes to the original designs. We’ve raised the height of the promenade to improve visibility as people were worried that the view over the wall would be obscured.
“The finished sea wall and promenade will really enhance Kirkcaldy for both residents and visitors. It looks and feels so much better and the waterfront challenge for Kirkcaldy’s ambitions is to bring the area to life. Discussions about public art, distance markers, pop-up shops, historical links, additional parking, reduced traffic lanes and making the waterfront a destination are in front of us. I look forward to meeting that challenge with colleagues from the private and voluntary sector.”
Kirkcaldy Sea Wall officially reopened on Sunday 14th December at 1.30pm. Cllr Pat Callaghan and Cllr Neil Crooks unveiled the refurbished 1922 plaque. A community event then took place at the basin car park and made its way along the length of the promenade.