Noisy time ahead for residents

RESIDENTS will have to put up with the noise of piling work to build new quays at Felixstowe port for six weeks longer after another delay to the project.

RESIDENTS will have to put up with the noise of piling work to build new quays at Felixstowe port for six weeks longer after another delay to the project.

Because of setbacks with construction of the extension to Trinity Terminal, the work schedule has slipped and is now nearly two months behind.

Families affected by the noise and vibration of the piling operations - mainly those in west Felixstowe and the twin Trimley villages - had been told that the work would be complete by the end of June.

But now it will carry on for longer.

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"Due to a delay in the commencement of operations it is now envisaged that the piling of the main quay wall and associate structures will be completed by mid-August," said the port.

Suffolk Coastal council's environmental health department has imposed restrictions on the work, which will go on 12 hours a day but there will be no piling after 7pm and no work at all on Sundays.

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Executives still hope that, despite the delays, the new berths will be up and running by mid-autumn.

The piling for the main quay wall and other structures was due to have originally been finished by March-April time and the project would be operational by July.

However, the start of the works - which have been going on since last year - were delayed after unforeseen problems with landslips in heaps of earth reclaimed from the Orwell estuary.

The development is essential for the future competitiveness of the port - Britain's top container terminal - and will enable it to berth two more of the latest generation of container vessels simultaneously, as well as securing its position as a major European hub port.

It will increase capacity by some 415,000 boxes to well over 3 million per year, providing an extra 270 metres of quay.

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.

Work began a year ago and the first phase of the development, 14 hectares of back-up land behind the existing Trinity Terminal, was completed last summer, increasing the storage capacity by 6,500 standard-sized containers.

Costain Limited is building the extension on a £28 million contract. The company also built the previous extension to Trinity Terminal in 1996.

The scheme also includes dredging the approach channel to 14.5 metres deep and 15 metres alongside the quay, with dredged clay used to create habitat improvements on Trimley and Shotley foreshores.


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