Port to protect residents from noise

FULL details were announced today of how Britain's biggest port is to protect residents from the noise of work on its £250 million expansion project.

PORT chiefs at Felixstowe today promised to do everything possible to keep construction noise to a minimum during work on a new £250 million extension.

Piling is set to start after Christmas - and the hammering in of piles to create the new quay wall for the massive deepsea container terminal project will create some noise.

However, to help keep it to a minimum, a special acoustic fence has been built between the port and its nearest neighbours in Adastral Close and an agreement has been drawn up over working times to avoid making a din at night and on Sundays.

The project involves filling in the historic Dock Basin and modernising and extending Landguard Terminal to create extra berths for the world's largest ships.

The first shipment of piles for the new quay wall at the port - Britain's busiest container terminal - have arrived by ship.

Nineteen of the large tubular steel piles were discharged from the vessel Arklow Rainbow directly onto the construction site.

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Each of the huge piles is up to 38 metres in length, 2.56 metres in diameter, and weighs more than 45 tonnes.

The first of the piles is expected to be driven in during the week starting January 19 by main contractor Costain.

The timing of piling operations will be restricted and will not commence before 8am Monday to Friday, and will be completed by 6pm each day.

Between these times, there will be no more than five hours piling each day.

On Saturdays piling will not start before 9am and will finish by 1pm, and will not take place on more than 13 weeks in the next six months. There will be no piling on Sundays or bank holidays.

Chris Lewis, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “The contractors will be using special vibrating hammers to the greatest extent possible.

“Although the use of the noisier percussive hammers will be needed for the final stage of each pile, we hope the noise will be kept to a minimum.”

With most of the work taking place in winter, the impact should not be as great as it would be in summer when people have windows open and spend more time outdoors.

Are you worried about the piling noise? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk