Port of Southampton completes channel widening programme

Drone shot of channel widening operations at the Port of Southampton
Photo: Associated British Ports

The Port of Southampton has completed a significant navigation channel widening programme in the Western Docks, enabling the largest container vessels to pass the biggest cruise ships berthed in the port, Associated British Ports (ABP) said in a recent press release.

This is the first significant channel-widening project in the port in ten years. The works involved the removal of 900,000 cubic metres of predominately clay-based material over a two-kilometre stretch of the channel, widening it by 30 to 65 metres.

The project was managed by ABP Southampton’s Engineering and Marine Teams. Along with extensive navigation simulation exercises to determine the scope of work, comprehensive geotechnical surveys allowed the team to assess the nature of the material to be removed and the type of dredging equipment to be used during the work.

Diver operations assessed the seabed for historical unexploded ordnance and safely recovered marine debris such as anchors and tyres from the seabed.

Archaeological sampling was also completed before the dredging programme commenced.

The timeframe to complete the dredging was restricted to the winter months to ensure the activity did not impact the salmon migration to the River Test.

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