Changing shape of port

Britain's top container biggest port is undergoing one of the biggest and most dramatic changes in its 134-year history - as these superb aerial photos show.

FELIXSTOWE: Britain's top container biggest port is undergoing one of the biggest and most dramatic changes in its 134-year history - as these superb aerial photos show.

The old heart of the port will never be the same again with the Dock Basin now vanished - filled in - and the flour mill and other buildings demolished to make way for a modern deepwater quayside.

The basin was the original port, where the first ships arrived to deliver a rich variety of cargoes on vessels of all shapes and sizes from around the world, unloaded by steam cranes and often taken straight out by rail.

Now it is difficult to see where the basin once was - its site hidden below an area the size of 42 football pitches.

Contractors Costain have spent more than a year reshaping the southern part of the terminal at Felixstowe, the first phase of a �240 million project to provide more berths for the world's largest ships.

It has involved reclaiming land 70 metres out into Harwich Harbour with 350 piles driven in to the riverbed, filled behind with three million cubic metres of dredged material - enough to fill Wembley stadium from top to bottom three times over - to create a new quay 730 metres long, the same length as 73 double decker buses lined end to end.

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Community liaison manager for contractors Costain, James York said the development was progressing well and was on schedule for its opening next spring.

“The main quay wall piling is now finished and around 80 to 85 per cent of the fill material is in place,” he said.

“It looks now like a huge beach of golden sands, but one the public will never get to enjoy!”

The next major stage will be to lay around 16 million blocks as the whole area will be block-paved - an operation not carried out by hand, but by a special machine.

Phase two of the development has been delayed by around five years. The whole project will increase Felixstowe's capacity to around 5.2 million boxes a year.

IPSWICH: Another exciting project steadily nearing completion is the new sixth form centre for Ipswich.

The Suffolk One building, a �65 million further education centre, is set to open in September next year and will be capable of providing education for more than 2,000 16 to 19 year olds for south-west Ipswich and south Suffolk.

Admissions processes for the academic term starting next autumn should start next month.

Construction is progressing well at the site, which will offer a mix of traditional A level and vocational courses.

The design provides for flexible teaching areas, each with learning resource centre, laboratories and workshops, including a motor vehicle workshop, science laboratories, design technology studios, construction, engineering and manufacturing workshops.

There will also be a six badminton court sports hall and fitness suite, and outdoor multi-use games area, plus a theatre with space for performance and teaching, including music technology labs, recording studios and a large learning suite for the visual arts.

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