Next steps for £1.76 million works to protect Port of Sunderland from sea and storm damage agreed by city leaders

Council chiefs have approved the next steps for works to strengthen sea defences at the Port of Sunderland

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 4:08 pm
Brave Tern docks at Port of Sunderland

Major proposals to further strengthen sea defences at the Port of Sunderland have taken a step forward.

This week, Sunderland City Council’s ruling cabinet examined a report on the Hendon Foreshore Barrier, a structure which dates back to the 1930s.

Temporary repairs were completed in 2020, following damage in 2018 and 2019, while the latest phase of works includes rebuilding and updating a 200-metre section, protecting the port estate against sea erosion and storm damage in future years.

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Council chiefs have now agreed to start looking for a contractor to complete the scheme, which is expected to cost £1.76 million.

Councillor Kevin Johnston, cabinet member for Dynamic City, said the final project costs could be higher depending on weather conditions.

He said: “Councillors must be aware though that these cost estimates are based on information available at the time of writing and there is a risk however of price fluctuations due to inflation impacting on the cost of raw materials and the potential for adverse weather.

“Therefore a 20% risk contingency is included in the cost estimate […] to allow for potential adverse weather and additional costs in the event of access restrictions.”

A report prepared for cabinet added the plans would maintain the “integrity and functionality” of Hudson Dock and would “contribute positively to the City Plan objectives of a Dynamic and Healthy City.”

Cllr Johnston added: “Not undertaking the works will leave the council at risk of the following.

“The likelihood of further damage due to natural storm events and the increase of climate change and may lead to progressive failures of each structure with likely severe impacts, including loss of functionality of the Port of Sunderland.”

In September 2021, the council began shopping for nearly 27,000 tonnes of rock that will form part of the new sea defences at the port and be used on both the Stonehill Wall and at Hendon Foreshore Barrier.

The barrier helps protect the Northumbrian Water treatment works and requires 8,000 tonnes of rock armour for its 175-metre-long revetment.

Due to tidal conditions, works at Hendon Foreshore Barrier are not anticipated to begin until spring 2023.

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