Project to protect Town Wall in Hartlepool wins engineering awards

A project to help protect homes on Hartlepool's Headland from flooding has won two prestigious awards.

Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 8:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 8:45 am
Pictured left to right with the CECA award trophies at the Town Wall are (from Seymour Civil Engineering) Engineer Will Wood, Construction Director Stuart Dickens and Contract Manager Chris Byrne and (from Hartlepool Borough Council) Engineering Technician Jacob Liddle, Principal Engineer Kieran Bostock and Councillor Marjorie James.

The project to strengthen the sea defences along the historic 14th century Town Wall – work which was designed by engineers at Hartlepool Borough Council and carried out by Seymour Civil Engineering in 2015/16 – earned the Project Of The Year and the Going The Extra Mile awards at the 2017 Civil Engineering Contractors Association (North-East) Awards.

Against a national backdrop of rising sea levels, waves coming over the top of the Town Wall in storm conditions were potentially putting 230 nearby homes at risk.

The answer was to design a new reinforced inside wall – plus floodgates and an underground drainage system – along the Town Wall walkway.

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When there is any risk of waves coming over the top of the Town Wall, the floodgates at either end of the walkway and one in the middle can be closed, creating channels to catch any seawater, which then runs off through the drainage system under the walkway.

Hartlepool Borough Councillor Marjorie James, who represents Hartlepool on the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group, said: “Our goal was not only to protect hundreds of local people from flooding, but also to preserve the historic structure of the Town Wall and its appearance.

"The technical solution was groundbreaking and the painstaking approach to carrying out the work most certainly went the extra mile.

“The fact that the Environment Agency now cites the project as an example of best practice in coastal protection schemes really says it all for the quality of the scheme and the people who worked on it.”

Chris Byrne, contract manager for Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “We are delighted to have received such recognition for what this project has achieved – not only recognising the quality of the scheme but also how this was achieved by working in partnership to deliver the project with Hartlepool Borough Council.

"We worked together as a team to bring this project in on time and on budget. It is an immense achievement to have won these prestigious awards which we are all extremely proud of, but making a positive difference to the people who live in our home town of Hartlepool is what is really testament to the scheme’s success."

Stuart Miller, Regional Director - Civil Engineering Contractors Association (North-East), said: “The Town Wall scheme has been a success for everyone involved, not least for the local residents who should reap the benefits for many years to come.

“What stood out to our judging panel was the collaborative manner in which Hartlepool Borough Council and Seymour Civil Engineering worked so well together. It’s clear that this partnership approach helped deliver an aesthetically pleasing result, sympathetic to its environment and yet engineered with integrity.”

As well as the two awards for the work on the Headland Town Wall project, Seymour were also named the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (North-East)’s Health and Safety Company of the Year and Training Company of the Year.