Upon completion, DP World’s London Gateway, the £1.5bn “super port” in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex will comprise 2,700 m of quay, six deep-water berths and 24 giant quay cranes which will be able to handle more than three million containers every year.
Working for VolkerFitzpatrick, Tony Gee completed the preliminary and detailed design, including the integration of temporary and permanent works, construction support services for 1km of port access road 0.5km of redeveloped trunk road, a 60m long two-span steel-composite road bridge, a 50m single span bridleway bridge, and extensive earthworks, drainage and groundwater control. The project was characterised by tight programme constraints and difficult ground conditions.
Part of the challenge involved securing Technical Approval and designing and constructing the two-span highway bridge in a total of just seven months. Early value engineering and acquisition of preliminary information through Tony Gee’s site-based staff, allowing some works to start early, were key factors in meeting programme deadlines and minimising foundation costs. Tony Gee’s proposal to use weathering steel resulted in reduced whole-life costs for the client. Many of the technical challenges encountered arose from the poor alluvial soil. For example pile caps had to be cast in two lifts as the ground could not cope with their total self- weight and on the approaches to the bridge, an innovative hybrid solution had to be developed to control settlement of the embankments. The latter was accomplished by a combination of measures, including preloading the ground and use of extremely lightweight expanded polystyrene fill, allowing the road to open on programme.