The Nuneham Viaduct, spanning the River Thames near Abingdon, faced a critical issue in March 2023 due to the progressive settlement of its south abutment. The ageing structure, combined with the nature of the floodplain material, necessitated an emergency response. As a result, our client TMS Ltd, the projects’ in-water construction specialists, approached us to discuss the proposed rental option for a floating boom for the emergency reconstruction.
Solution Selection Decision
The scope of the in-water works for our client encompassed two primary objectives:
- Installing temporary piles and a support system to lift and re-support the existing viaduct bridge deck above the compromised abutment.
- Providing comprehensive in-water logistics and safety measures, including materials transport, pollution control, and collision protection for the in-river construction activities.
For collision protection, TMS opted to rent Bolina Safety Booms, anchored with 2.5-ton concrete anchor blocks. This choice was grounded in the boom’s proven performance under combined boat and barge impacts, common in the navigable Thames environment. The bright colour of the boom materials enhanced visibility, demarcating the works area effectively.
We proposed our rental solution as it provides peace of mind with its comprehensive end-to-end approach, reducing project management complexities. This sustainable option allows for reuse, promoting environmental responsibility. Moreover, it eliminates the need to hold stock or store, offering a project-specific, streamlined solution for the Nuneham Viaduct reconstruction.
To address the pollution control requirements, Ecobarrier Silt Curtains were selected due to their ability to contain both surface debris and suspended sediment in the water column.
The client encountered no significant challenges related to the marine barriers during the course of the project. The rented Bolina Safety Booms were never put to the test by live traffic, likely due to their high visibility, making them easily avoidable by passing vessels.
Additionally, the Ecobarrier Silt Curtains proved highly effective in containing surface debris and suspended sediment. The stark contrast in water quality and turbidity inside the enclosed boom area compared to the surrounding river environment was evident throughout the project, the client mentioned.
The deployment of the marine barriers for the Nuneham Viaduct emergency reconstruction project was a resounding success. Selecting Ecocoast’s barriers for collision protection and pollution control played a crucial role in ensuring the safety and environmental integrity of the in-water construction activities. The barriers’ high visibility and proven performance were instrumental in the project’s smooth execution, ultimately contributing to the project’s overall success.