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Published on 3 July 2017
Erosion impacts on Teignmouth flood defence scheme
The completion of flood defence works in Teignmouth has been delayed until September after additional essential repair work was identified to tackle erosion under the sea wall.
Teignbridge has needed to reschedule the end date of the vital works to deal with voids found underneath the structure and ensure its ongoing integrity.
As well as being a popular place to walk, the sea wall – built in the 1930s - provides vital coastal flood protection for up to 400 homes and businesses in Teignmouth and protects Shaldon from the impacts of wave action. It has withstood the elements over the years, but in recent times has become more vulnerable to storm damage.
The £1.3million flood defence scheme started in February and focuses on the repair, renewal and strengthening of the sea defence structure at The Point.
Work is being carried out by local firm Teignmouth Maritime Services Ltd (TMS) and a lot of progress has been made so far. Work has involved putting 230m of steel sheet piles from the lighthouse to the Point with a new concrete capping beam and slab helping to strengthen the wall.
Preliminary investigations before work started showed there were voids and as work has progressed, detailed investigations have provided a much clearer picture of their severity.
The voids are caused by sea water washing out fill material from behind the wall, and has probably been happening over a number of years. A similar void was repaired when it opened up on Teignmouth’s promenade after a major storm in December 2015.
Teignbridge and TMS are now carrying out works to stabilise the sea wall by filling the voids with structural concrete and anchor steel sheet piles that ensure it is able to resist the wave forces it is subjected to all year round.
This has been made even more challenging because engineers are having to drill through a secondary set of steel sheet piles that are up to 6metres deep under the wall before they can install a capping beam and slab that further reinforce it.
Not only that, but they have to work around the tides and in all weather conditions.
Cllr Humphrey Clemens, Teignbridge District Council’s executive member for coastal services, said:
“We understand that the extra time this will take may cause disruption over the summer period and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay. However, keeping the community safe is our priority and it is imperative for the future of this part of Teignmouth that the defence work is done now to reduce the flooding risk in the future. It’s a good job it’s been found now so we can deal with it and make the sea wall more robust.
“Despite the many challenges faced, we continue to work with TMS to complete the repairs quickly and car parking spaces are being released as work is completed. We would also like to thank residents and businesses for their patience so far and hope they understand the importance of getting this done now.”
Parts of The Point car park have been used for stockpiling materials and onsite facilities and as work progresses, sections have been released back into use for parking. Two-thirds of the 251-space car park are now free for residents and visitors to use with more spaces being released as work continues.
Signs are in the car park show people the nearest parking alternatives are at Brunswick Street, The Quay and Eastcliff. More details are at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/parking
The cost of the project has been funded by the Government through the flood defence grant in aid administered by the Environment Agency. The budget contained a contingency in case additional works were required.