Piling set to start at docks

TEN months of noisy percussive piling starts later this month as work on the next part of the �240 million expansion of the Port of Felixstowe gets underway.

TEN months of noisy percussive piling starts later this month as work on the next part of the �240 million expansion of the Port of Felixstowe gets underway.

A special hotline and community contact has been put in place for people concerned about the noise from the piling operations.

Contractors Costain Ltd will start the work in the week beginning January 26 and carry on until October.

“It is not possible for the work at the port to progress without percussive piling, but there are clear restrictions on the amount of noise it generates and the hours and days this work can be carried out, as set out in the planning permission granted for the expansion following the public inquiry,” said Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Andrew Nunn.


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“As a company signed up to the Considerate Constructor scheme, I am sure that Costain will be doing all it can to reduce any negative impact the work may have on the general public and the environment.”

The piling is planned to take place at the main quay wall between January and July, at the tug berth wall between March and May, at rear crane rail between April and October, and at the return wall between August and September.

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At all four sites, percussive piling will only be allowed between 8am and 6pm Mondays to Fridays, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays, with a maximum of 13 Saturdays in any six-month period.

There will be no piling on Sundays or Bank Holidays and there will be a maximum of five hours quay wall piling in any one day.

There are noise limits which were specified in the planning permission given to the development which sets maximum levels which will be regularly monitored.

People concerned about the piling noise should contact James York, community liaison manager, on 01394 613534. Problems will be sorted out where possible in 24 hours.

“Such a major project will inevitably mean some noise and disturbance, but this council's environmental protection team has been working closely with the port and Costain Ltd to minimise the impact on local communities. I know from our discussions that both are ready to listen and take action if it is appropriate,” said Mr Nunn.

FASTFACTS: Port expansion

The expansion project is expected to create up to 1,500 new jobs.

Phase 1 will see an additional 730 metres of deep-water quay created, filling in of the old Dock Basin and redevelopment of the old passenger ferry terminal.

The quay will be dredged 16 metres deep, providing new berths for the world's biggest ships.

Seven new state-of-the-art quayside cranes will be installed.

Later phases of the project will include extra berths and dualling of four-and-a-half miles of the Ipswich-Felixstowe rail line.

Improvement work will also take place at the dock spur roundabout and Copdock interchange to deal with increased lorry traffic.

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