Dredging the Mersey for Liverpool2 container port

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Douglas K Coleman, Programme Director, Peel Ports, Liverpool, UK

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Liverpool, on the River Mersey in northwest England, has been a major port for almost 300 years and the area has undergone many changes during that time to accommodate trends in shipping. The Port of Liverpool is already the UK’s largest transatlantic port and is home to one of the UK’s biggest container terminals. Now Peel Ports, as owner and operator, is investing £300m (US$500 million) to ensure the Port of Liverpool can accommodate around 95% of the world’s container fleet, especially with the widened Panama Canal opening in 2015. The overall construction programme has several main features: • A quay wall, 854m long, with a quay surface at 12.7m aCD, between the southwest corner of the Royal Seaforth Container Terminal and along the low water edge of an intertidal area known as Seaforth Triangle; • Dredging in front of the quay wall (to 16.5m bCD) to create a 62m-wide berth pocket that will allow post- Panamax vessels to berth in this area; • Reclamation of approximately 12ha of intertidal area behind this new wall (using approximately 2.2 million cubic metres of material dredged from the berth pocket and approach channel deepening works); and • Dredging areas of the approach channel that are shallower than 8m bCD down to this depth, with the total area for deepening around 3.71km2 and an average 1.1m depth of dredge…

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