Red7Marine, was contracted by the Port of London Authority to support the Barrier Gardens pier extension in Woolwich to improve environmental performance, reduce noise generation and enhance crew safety.

As a part of this contract Red7Marine also carried out pile clearance works to ensure the area was safe for piling activity prior to the extension. The purpose of the pile clearance was to remove any natural or man-made obstructions from the riverbed over two locations where the berthing piles for the new pontoon at Barrier Gardens were being installed. This work was imperative as this section of riverbed had been highlighted as an area of risk for unexploded World War Two bombs.

Both natural and manmade features were found during the clearance including wires and timber which were expected. Fortunately, no obstructions that would have caused issues for the main works were found. However, on previous occasions, Red7Marine’s findings have been larger, including a 20t concrete block, old timber piles and a Victorian anchor.

 The task was completed using a 30t long reach excavator working on Red7Marine’s 250T Haven Seariser 4 jack-up barge. The barge was put into position using survey assistance to ensure the legs did not sit within 5m of any anomalies.

Both pile positions were cleared ahead of the main piling works to minimise the risk of delays to the project before the piling barge arrived on site for the main works. A UXO desktop study and geophysical survey completed in April 2020 highlighted a selection of potential anomalies within the site boundary.

Whilst these anomalies were a set distance from both planned pile locations and jack-up leg positions, there was a risk of potential UXO’s within the area. Red7Marine utilised a UXO expert to oversee the pile clearance works in the unlikely event that a UXO was encountered. A UXO brief was also delivered and a site specific UXO emergency response plan produced.

For the main works, Red7Marine is carrying out the installation of two 38m length piles into the riverbed to support the extension which is due to be fully operational later this Summer. The extension will enable larger vessels, such as PLA flagship, London Titan, to dock directly at the pier, making it quicker and safer for crews to get on and off at the start and end of their shifts.

Kristen Branford, Managing Director at Red7Marine comments: “We have an extensive history of working on the River Thames and we were delighted to support the Port of London Authority on this particular project. Red7Marine supplies a wide range of solutions for civil engineering projects that require piling, from the supply of specialist marine equipment through to turnkey project delivery packages on inland and coastal projects.

As the UK’s Marine Partner of Choice, Red7Marine offers its clients a proven track record, experienced personnel and a specialist fleet of access solutions to safely deliver projects. We have worked closely with the PLA in all stages of this project from inception, procurement through to delivery and handover.”

Peter Steen, the PLA’s Director of Marine Operations, said: “This is another example of our efforts to promote safe, sustainable use of the river. It adds to the pier’s ability to welcome a wide array of other vessels.

It also demonstrates our commitment to help support a green economic recovery, post COVID-19, by rolling out long-term investment projects, which also contribute towards meeting ambitious Net Zero carbon reduction targets on the river.”