AN engineering scheme that safeguards Rye’s future as a working port has won a major construction award.
The Environment Agency completed work on the Harbour’s new Western Training Wall In February.
It is an integral part of the harbour’s navigation channel that brings in £8 million to the local economy, and conveys flows from the rivers Brede, Rother, and Tillingham.
It is also important for local wildlife, protecting diverse designated habitats which are vital to migratory birds.
The new wall replaces the original, which was built in the 1920s.
An investigation in 2011 discovered the wall had deteriorated significantly and was at significant risk of failing, which would have had a significant impact on the local economy and the valuable protected habitats which are located behind the wall and those of Camber Sands.
Local civil engineering firm Jackson began work on the £9.7 million project began in late January 2012, and has completed it on schedule.
Now it has won a top award in the Institution of Civil Engineers South East England Engineering Excellence Awards 2013.
The Awards recognise the best civil engineering projects across South East England, with the judges looking for projects that deliver a real benefit to society through the knowledge, skills and professional expertise of civil engineers.
Director of ICE South East England, John Laverty, said: “All construction work on the project was carried out within the intertidal zone requiring specially designed working practices and creating additional health and safety challenges.
The judges said: “This project showed some really interesting ways in which these issues can be tackled using very simple techniques to safeguard the future of an important south coast harbour.”
Alex Stanmore, Chair of the Harbour of Rye Advisory Committee said: “Rye Harbour is of critical importance to tourism and the economy of the town of Rye. We are delighted the Environment Agency invested so significantly to secure its future. Harbour users welcome the improvements made and complement the Environment Agency and its contractors for the minimal disruption to business during the completion of the works”