Smooth start to £1m river slipway upgrade
A £1m refurbishment of Dartmouth Lower Ferry's landing slipways has begun, with yards of sheet piling for one of the new slipways vibrated into place.
Contractors assembled their plant over the Christmas period ready for a January start and were ready to float their 96-tonne working platform into place.
The platform is made up of 24 floats each weighing in at four tonnes which, once linked, engineers could then float into position.
A 36-tonne JCB and a 35-tonne crane are on board to lift the interlocking steel piles into position.
The JCB drives them 10 metres into the river bed using a giant vibration hammer on its arm.
Paul Hunt, project manager for sub-contractor TMS, said: "Everything is going smoothly at the moment. We have driven a section of piling down the side of the existing slipway and we are putting in the 352mm circular piles at the end of the Dartmouth slipway which will take the extension of the new slips."
Once all the sheet piles have been vibrated into place, two giant pumps will be used to keep the workings comparatively free of water while engineers recreate the new slipway forefoot foundations.
Other parts of the project include raising the level of the slipways, replacing corroded rails that act as rubbing strips to protect the concrete and replacing the wood fendering with new hi-tech materials.