New Bascule Bridge and Lock Gates delivered to Western Docks development

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A single leaf bascule bridge and marina lock gates have been delivered as part of the ongoing transformation for Port of Dover’s flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development.

The bridge, designed and manufactured by Qualter Hall has been installed by Qualter Hall on behalf of VSBW – a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster – who are responsible for the marine and bridge civils contract for the DWDR development.

The bascule bridge has been designed to maintain vehicular and pedestrian access along the Esplanade and will span the new navigation channel connecting the existing Wellington Dock with the new marina that is being built in in the outer harbour.

The bridge deck is attached by tie bars to a pivoting arm, which sits on top of a pair of masts, designed to represent ship masts. The deck is lifted using hydraulic cylinders, attached to the pivoting frame. The lifting mechanism is assisted by a steel filled counterweight section at the end of the balance arm.

The deck is 16m in length and 15.1m wide, and weighs 96 tonnes. It has a mast height of 16m and was brought in by a sea-going barge from the fabricator, Victor Buyck, Belgium, and lifted into place by a substantial 1250t land based crane.

In addition to the bascule bridge, two sector lock and mitre gates are being installed to provide 24hr access for marine craft into the Wellington Dock Navigation Channel, and also to provide flood protection during extreme high tide and storm surge conditions.

The two sector lock gates, each 12m high, and weighing 50 tonnes, will be located at the entrance to the navigation channel; and the two mitre lock gates, each 6m high and 5.5m wide, and weighing 13 tonnes, will be installed in the middle of the navigation channel adjacent to the bascule bridge.

George Orton, Managing Director for Qualter Hall, said: “We are delighted to be working at Dover again where, over the years, Qualter Hall has carried out a significant number of major works.

Recently this included all the mechanical, hydraulic and electrical control equipment for the refurbishment of RoRo berths 2, 3 and 7 at Dover’s Eastern Docks. The revival of the Western Docks will be a key catalyst for the wider regeneration of the area, providing vital employment opportunities and we are privileged to be playing a part in this.”

Alan Hicks, Project Director for VSBW, said: “This is another successful key milestone within this high-profile project. The close collaboration between VSBW, our supply chain and the Port of Dover, has allowed the installation to take place as planned and ensures the success of the regeneration project for the Port as a whole”.