Landslips delay port expansion

LANDSLIPS in heaps of material reclaimed from the harbour have caused a three-month delay to the expansion of Britain's top container port.Executives at Felixstowe revealed today that the slips would mean extra work and that the current project to extend Trinity Terminal would not now be completed until autumn next year.

LANDSLIPS in heaps of material reclaimed from the harbour have caused a three-month delay to the expansion of Britain's top container port.

Executives at Felixstowe revealed today that the slips would mean extra work and that the current project to extend Trinity Terminal would not now be completed until autumn next year.

It had been hoped to have the scheme fully operating by July but managers said engineering projects could often be unpredictable.

Corporate affairs manager Paul Davey said the landslips had taken place in material taken from Harwich Harbour and which was being used to create backup storage land at the extension.

Loose silt material in the packed new land had acted like ball bearings and send some of the area tumbling back into the River Orwell estuary.

It was now having to be retrieved and the storage area created afresh.

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"It is only part of the storage area as some of the area has already been opened, so it is not a delay to the whole project," he said.

"It was material dredged out of the harbour and it has fallen back into the water and has got to be taken out for a second time.

"It is not unusual for there to be a couple of surprises on a project of this size and it is impossible to predict every outcome."

Stone pillars are now to be used to hold the material in place.

The extension which provide a further 270 metres of quay to allow the port to handle two of the world's biggest ships at the same time.

It will take the port to its northern limits – as agreed by Act of Parliament – right up to the edge of the man-made Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve, which is protected from the port by a huge earth embankment.

The port has this month submitted a planning application to expand the southern end of the docks by refurbishing the Landguard container terminal and ro-ro berths to create 1,000 metres of new quay for the future.

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