Ensuring longevity and resilience

Our focus for this project was on ensuring the docks work effectively for the next 100 years, while reinforcing the city’s flood defences.

We were the civil engineer on the project since 2008, working for BAM Nuttall. We undertook the design and fitting of the new lock and flood gates in Junction Lock, along with upgrading the two pairs of lock gates in Entrance Lock.

The new gates operate on a hydraulic system with rams. We had to assess the load and determine the best design solution to accommodate these large structures. We also did the foundation design for the control buildings that operate the ram system.

Our team provided the civil engineering designs for the replacement of the lock gates at Bristol’s Floating Harbour entrance, and for the conversion from water hydraulics to an independent oil hydraulic system for the operation of both the lock gates and the Junction Lock vehicle swing bridge.

The project consisted of three phases, with phase one tackling the most urgent work. This involved replacing the 140 year old Victorian wooden lock gates at Junction Lock (which holds the water in the floating harbour when the entrance lock gates are open to allow shipping in or out of the harbour), upgrading of the Junction Lock vehicle swing bridge, and the change to oil driven hydraulics for both the new lock gates and the swing bridge.

Phase two works focused on the Entrance Lock and included the conversion from water hydraulics to oil hydraulics for the existing 8nr sluices and 4nr lock gates and installing new back-up floodgates in Junction Lock. Phase three included refurbishing and upgrading the Underfall Yard sluice mechanism and the Netham Lock.

We were awarded phase one and two of the project, which included civil engineering design, drainage design, duct runs and the foundations for the control buildings along with the associated mechanical design and detailing, and the design of the anchor blocks and housing for the hydraulic ram systems that operate the lock gates.