Project details

Runcorn Lay By Berth is located to the west of Runcorn Docks and comprises seven mooring dolphins, which cater for a range of vessels that use the Manchester Ship Canal. Following a vessel collision, Dolphin No.1 was subject to significant damage, resulting in the need for replacement, complete with the adjacent access walkway. Awarded as a design and build contract, the works were delivered in accordance with a challenging 3-week programme duration.

The new dolphin structures consists of 4no. 1067mm diameter tubular piles.

Initial works included the construction of a temporary platform upon which a 500t crawler crane could be positioned to install the piles. A total of 4no. 1067mm diameter tubular piles were installed using a traditional piling gate. Once lifted into position, a vibro hammer was used to drive the pile to refusal, following which an impact hammer was used to back drive the pile to rock level. Temporary steelwork was then welded to the piles to support the required pre cast concrete units used to form the main body of the dolphin. The pre cast units were constructed offsite by our directly employed labour before being delivered to site and lifted into position using the crawler crane. The main rebar dolphin cage was prefabricated and installed in a single lift, which reduced the risks associated with working at height and over water. The main structure was then cast by pumping concrete directly into the precast units. Quayside furniture in the form of bollards, fenders and ladders were then installed to complete the structure. In order to access the dolphin structure, a new steel walkway was installed. To support the walkway, bearings were incorporated into the pile caps of the structure, with abutments also constructed on the adjacent land. A permanent staircase was also installed from the top of the canal embankment to the walkway. In order to protect the embankment from future corrosion, a series of Kyowa Rock Bags were installed.

Due to the operational shipping environment, the works were progressed across a challenging 3-week programme duration, under a full possession of the facility. In order to achieve key programme milestones, works were accelerated through working 7 days a week. An excellent standard of safety was maintained throughout delivery, with no reported incidents upon completion of the works.