Ventnor Eastern Esplanade Urgent Works

Constructing Excellence

Isle of Wight Council (IoWC) contacted Principal Contractor (PC) Mackley in November 2022, to mobilise an emergency response after storms caused a catastrophic failure of the Ventnor seawall and promenade. A 35m section of seawall collapsed that supports Eastern Undercliff Esplanade, protects an ⌀825mm foul sewer and the Eastern cliffs of Ventnor itself.

Losing the defence through further damage could result in significant risk to 1400 properties, a major environment incident, as the sewer was exposed, and most concerning, a risk to life. A multi-disciplinary team was assembled to find a rapid, collaborative solution, proportionate to the situation.

Within days, Mackley installed rock bags as a short term emergency solution which considered the limited access, availability and size of materials.

A major scheme for the entire Ventnor frontage is being planned by the Environment Agency (EA), The challenge was to develop a mid-term 10year solution to protect the frontage. Within 2 weeks, Mackley developed 7 design options for the remedial solution prioritising buildability and how to get suitable materials to a site with limited access and environmental restrictions on delivery by sea. They appointed a consultant to provide specialist geotechnical advice and verify the selected design. Mackley then installed the chosen solution, a timber king post wall, using recycled timber, protecting the frontage for the near future.

Three Winning Facts:
  1. Coordination for rapid delivery – Urgent and immediate need to react. Focussed minds and efforts with need to monitor for further catastrophic failures that might pose a risk to life.
  2. Collaboration within the multi-disciplinary integrated delivery team and numerous stakeholders – IoW officers, Coastal Partners, Mackley, The Environment Agency, Southern Water, Island Roads, Jacobs, AECOM, MMO.
  3. Proportionate and Appropriate – Managing the integration of restoring the asset into a stable condition whilst taking a “no regrets” approach to the needs of the major EA scheme.