Dredged material will create Tyne Dock development

All the necessary approvals are now in place to allow a major development of the Port of Tyne to go ahead.    The award-winning Port of Tyne plans to create just over 13 acres of operational land by infilling Tyne Dock using the dredged material from the New Tyne Crossing project.

With a mission to create a vibrant and sustainable Port of Tyne well into the next century, the infilling of Tyne Dock will create more space for expansion and development, enabling the Port of Tyne to meet the needs of customers and add value to the north east region.

Chief executive Andrew Moffat says: “Last year the port was approached by Bouygues Travaux Publics, the contractors of the second Tyne Tunnel, who explained their plans to dredge the Tyne as part of the construction process. We talked to them about how they could recycle the spoil from the construction of the tunnel by using it to infill Tyne Dock. Not only will this create valuable land, it will give the Port greater flexibility to offer customers.

“After exploring various options, it was agreed that this was not only environmentally sound but also a far more effective way for both parties to progress.”

The Port of Tyne received planning approval from South Tyneside Council on 13th July.

Following approval from Natural England, the Marine & Fisheries Agency and the Environment Agency, permission has been given to pump spoil direct from the trench that is to be dredged for the new tunnel, into Tyne Dock, as part of a carefully engineered design solution.

The Environment Agency has also approved revised plans to bring the dredging window forward from November to September.  A cutter suction dredger will be used, which is not only quicker but will release minimal levels of sediment into the river during dredging operations.

Paul Fenwick, Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority’s project director for the New Tyne Crossing, said: “The use of material from the New Tyne Crossing project to contribute to the development of the Port of Tyne is excellent news. This kind of creative thinking at the design and construction stage of the project is just what we hoped for when developing the project.  Not only will the Port benefit but the environment and the local communities benefit too by avoiding the need to dispose of material at sea, reducing the period of disturbance of the river and removing the need for several thousand lorry movements to transport material to landfill sites.”

Bouygues Travaux Publics, the main design and build contractor for the New Tyne Crossing is committed to constructing the second vehicle tunnel as sensitively as possible, and dredging the Tyne is no exception.

Nicolas Caille, Project Managing Director for Bouygues Travaux Publics UK, said: “Managing our environmental impacts is fundamental to the way we work. As a company Bouygues Travaux Publics is fully committed to sustainable development and to minimising our environmental impacts. We are delighted that we are able to proceed with this revised approach to dredging, which will save 4,600 lorry movements transporting material to landfill.”

Trevor Jackson, Managing Director of TT2, the Concessionaire delivering the New Tyne Crossing project, said: “We’re confident that this new approach to dredging will bring tangible benefits to the environment, river users, the community and the region’s economy.

“The new proposal allows us to make a positive contribution to the regeneration of the North East as well as enabling us to carry out this vital part of the project in such a way that minimises impacts. Removing the need to transport material out of Jarrow via truck is a significant benefit to local people. This technique is also quicker than the original method, reducing the dredging period from around 5 months to 6 weeks, which means less disruption for river users and riverside communities. These are substantial improvements that will really make a difference for the people involved.

“From the outset we have been committed to delivering the New Tyne Crossing in a way that maximises opportunities for the region, whilst minimising disruption and we believe this proposal represents a significant achievement towards that goal.”

As a result, Tyne Dock will close on 10th August after 150 years. The dock was opened in 1859 after being dug out by hand to provide enough berths for 500 vessels. George Stephenson, the son of the railway pioneer, made the dock gates and William Armstrong made the engines to open the gates which were still in use until about 20 years ago.

The transformation of Tyne Dock will begin in earnest when dredging operations get underway on 26 September.