Whitstable, Kent, Timber Groynes
The scheme was to replace existing timber groynes which reached the end of their useful life in Whitstable Kent.
Ale Piling were involved from the very beginning of the project due to the access constraints of the scheme. There was the main Margate Railway line, narrow flood gates and a 2km track on the beach which had to be negotiated.
The beach aspect was particularly challenging due to the beach being a SSSI which meant that we were only allowed to track along the intertidal zone during the small time window when the sea permitted.
The work area itself was subject to tidal influences, so at end of each shift all plant had to be moved to the top of the beach.
Using our SP 60 tube grip hammer mounted on our 25 tonne tracked excavator, we had a special adapter insert made to suit the timber piles to ensure that they were not damaged during the installation process.
Using this equipment the piles were positioned and driven to refusal of the vibratory equipment. Tolerances of +- 25mm on position were achieved. Once the refusal had been reached, the methodology was changed and the piles were driven to depth using our machine mounted HPH1200 percussive hammer. The design of this hammer, permits driving without any large supporting loads being transmitted in to the pile which suited this application perfectly.
The materials used were 50 number 250 x 250mm 6m long Greenheart timber piles fitted with a steel driving shoe and a steel collar.
The ground conditions were beach shingle and existing timber structures
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