Reconstruction of Flood Damaged Retaining Wall – A692 Watergate Bank – Gateshead Council

Working with Gateshead Council as a Preferred Select Contractor, BCE Northern was contracted to undertake the Reconstruction of a Sandstone Retaining Structure with reinforced concrete infill, supporting the A692 Highway on Watergate Bank, Whickham.

The Clients objectives were to execute the works within a very tight programme period of just 3 weeks to minimize disruption to traffic flows on the busy A692 and maintain pedestrian flows without putting a significant risk to their Health and Safety and that of others who may be affected by the project.

Due to the existing retaining wall collapse the ground was unsupported and vehicle loadings were to be positioned at a distance such that the unsupported ground was not subject to wheel loads.

This was achieved with the implementation of water-filled temporary traffic management barriers and lane width restrictions.

In addition, disturbance of bed sediment of the adjacent Black Burn running parallel to the collapse was to be avoided in accordance with the Environment Agency PPG5 Guidelines.

As the wall collapse was immediately adjacent to the Black Burn it was important to keep water out of the works area to prevent and minimize water pollution.

A small bund was created and lined with impermeable membrane to prevent leakage into the burn.

The main works were carried out by hand and mixing and washing areas were sited on the existing highway verge approximately 20m away from the collapse and well above the water table level.

Mortar materials required for the reconstruction of the wall were delivered ready mixed and deposited in tubs at the designated laydown.  Materials were distributed/transferred to site via handheld wheelbarrows.

The site storage area had an additional secondary containment area where a lined pit was dug for cementitious waste to be tipped for later excavation and removal to a licenced tipping factory.

Site skips were located for general waste materials at the storage area and spill kits with sand were also located at all site storage areas.

Within the footway there were known to be existing PU services consisting of 150mm low pressure gas, 20kv electric mains cable and street lighting.

Access to the site was within a conservation area which forms part of the Ravensworth Estate.

All works were successfully completed safely, on time and to the Clients budgetary requirements.