There were spectacular scenes off the coast of Herne Bay last week as sea defence work to improve the town’s protection against the elements continues apace.
The £2.8 million city council project, which got underway in September, involves the construction of 24 new timber groynes – 13 at the King’s Hall and 11 at Lane End – seawall and promenade repairs, handrail refurbishment and beach recycling.
It also includes a small section of rock protection between the King’s Hall pumping station and Herne Bay Sailing Club, and last Tuesday (2 October), the granite rock needed for this element of the scheme was delivered by barge.
Hundreds of rock boulders, each weighing between one and three tonnes, were offloaded using excavators mounted on the barge, as crowds watched from the slopes and the King’s Hall roof.
They will be individually placed against the seawall around the roundall between the King’s Hall and the sailing club. Rock is being used at this location because it is the most economic and effective way to protect the seawall.
The rock originated from a quarry in Cornwall and made its way to Herne Bay by barge from Falmouth. On the journey, the barge stopped at Hastings to deposit another load of rock at a sea defence scheme currently being managed by the city council’s engineering team.
This is a £2 million project to strengthen the harbour arm in Hastings, which the council is leading on behalf of Hastings Borough Council through the East Kent Engineering Partnership. The income generated from the team’s work within the partnership is vital as it can be used to support other services and projects across Canterbury district, as well as help to further develop the engineering team.
Chairman of the council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “It’s not every day that you see huge chunks of rock being thrown off a barge into the sea, so all those people who came along got to witness something pretty special. We’re making good progress on the project and this was a significant moment.
“We’re very proud of the work of our engineering team, both locally and further afield. Our award-winning staff have been involved in schemes from Medway to Eastbourne over the last few years and are now considered to be leading lights in the field of coastal engineering.”