Changinf face of Durban Bay

Jan 29, 2003
Author: P&S

Giant caissons floated across Durban Bay

The first of fifty-two concrete caissons that will ultimately form a new deepwater quay wall along Durbanís historic Point dockside, were floated across Durban Bay earlier today (Wednesday, 29 January 2003). This operation will continue for several days.

The 18m high caissons are being built on a site situated between the Elgin Brown & Hamer shipyard and SA Shipyards at Durbanís Bayhead. Once trenching has been completed in the bay (opposite L berth), the caissons will be submerged onto a trench that is being dredged on the seabed.

This is currently being profiled with a stone floor base into which the caissons will come to rest, after which each will be filled with sand and capped with concrete. Additional caissons will continue to be placed until a complete quay wall has been constructed approximately 150m further into the bay opposite D Ė G berths, thus providing much needed cargo working space alongside the new quay.

Thereafter sand will be pumped in to displace the water trapped behind the new quay, then concreted over to form the cargo handling area.

The caissons that began moving from Bayhead today are to be stored in a corner of the harbour near G berth until the trenching has been completed. The operation of towing each caisson is taking place in daylight only and at high tide and makes an interesting and highly unusual spectacle in this busy harbour.

The new quay wall will provide five new deepwater berths for breakbulk cargo working. Once completed the existing breakbulk multi purpose terminal on Pier 1 will be relocated to the Point with Pier 1 becoming a new container terminal.

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