Steel piling at the £300 million container terminal currently under construction at the Port of Liverpool is almost complete, with most of the 296 steel piles having been erected.
Dubbed Liverpool2, the new terminal is being built by Peel Ports, but the site poses its own challenges, including the UK’s second-highest tidal range of ten metres.
With 700 metres of quay wall steel piling to install, along with nearly 1.5 million tonnes of sand and silt to infill behind the wall, the project is very much at the whim of the tides.
Installation of the steel piles and other infrastructure work can only take place in a two-hour window either side of each low tide, twice per day.
That’s a maximum of eight hours of interrupted work, and while high tide helps to compact the infilled sand and silt, it also washes away about 2.5% of the new material each time.
Doug Coleman, construction director on Liverpool2, said: “There are very few projects of this kind and scale going on in the UK, especially considering the impact of the exceptional tidal range.”
Once installed, steel bars are used to connect the steel piles to their anchor block, some three metres below the current infilled level, which helps to tension and straighten the quay wall.