Rosslare Europort gets upgrade

01 Apr 2006

Consultants Royal Haskoning recently became involved in an upgrade project at the Irish port of Rosslare. The project addressed the repair of berths 1 and 2 at Rosslare Europort where the pier is 260m long and was built in the 1950s using two parallel walls of concrete blockwork founded on a layer of broken rubble, filled in with sand and then capped with a concrete slab.

The pier was originally designed to accommodate much smaller ships than are in use today and, as a result, the mooring loads on the pier had increased beyond those for which it was designed. Monitoring by Irish Rail and Royal Haskoning detected an outward movement of the pier, caused by the additional loads.

As consultant Richard Marks explains: "The bigger vessels have in effect been pulling the pier apart, especially in high winds. We sent our team of specialist engineer-divers down to assess the situation and we were able to diagnose the precise cause of the problem." The investigations included mooring load studies and were followed by the development of an engineering solution. Restrictions were placed on the use of the pier in high winds until it could be stabilised, and the pier will be stabilised by drilling through the concrete blocks into the rubble below them. Grout will then be injected into the void within the rubble base. The grout will strengthen the base and prevent loss of sand filling through the rubble.

Once the grouting is complete work will begin to reinforce the top of the pier through various measures including concrete tie beams.

Some of the pier's mooring bollards will also be relocated from a high-level position to a lower position set back from the edge of the pier to increase the efficiency with which mooring can be carried out.

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