The Stema Shipping barge 'MTS Viscount' carrying approximately 25,000 tonnes of Larvic Granite from Norway will start unloading rock for the new revetment at Eastoke Point over the next few days. This will be the first of three barge loads to be delivered for use in the £5million coastal defence scheme on Hayling Island. The MTS Viscount will initially be moored offshore before the rock is then transferred to the beach by a smaller barge 'Charlie Rock' which will land on the foreshore during every high tide (day and night) for approximately 8 days.
Each of the three barge deliveries will carry approximately 5,500 rocks; enough to fill four Olympic sized swimming pools. Described another way, if the rocks were to be stacked on top of each other they would be almost as tall as Mount Everest. The next barge is due to arrive in around 21 days.
Project Manager Marc Bryan said ‘The rock is the key to progressing this scheme and as soon as it arrives we can really start to move the works forward. This type of delivery does not occur very often and will be quite a spectacle for the public to see.’
Due to the shallow nature of the intertidal zone along the Hayling Frontage the rock can only be delivered to specific locations at Eastoke. Therefore there may be a requirement to temporarily close of a further section of beach for the duration of the delivery to ensure public safety. High seas and poor weather delayed the departure of the barge from Norway by around 3 weeks however, it is still anticipated that the works at Eastoke will be completed on time.
The rock has specifically been sourced for its durability and resistance to the extreme conditions experienced in the marine environment and its ability to resist the action of waves and tides. The quarry in Larvic, Norway, is one of the most reliable sources of this type of rock and has been used extensively around Europe for coastal defence schemes.
The preliminary scheme work at Eastoke Point has progressed well including full site mobilisation, the demolition of several old timber groynes and the recovery of existing rock to be re-used in the new defences.
Local residents directly affected by the works will be kept up do date throughout the construction process. Local information boards will provide further details as the construction works progress..