Restoration of the historic harbour and north pier
D-Drill, a diamond drilling and concrete sawing firm with a base in Craghead – part of the firm’s wider UK network – is part of the team that is carrying out Durham County Council’s £3.4 million pier refurbishment project which will prevent waves causing damage to the harbour and help minimise coastal erosion.
The first phase of the company’s work started in August 2014 and lasted for four months. Skilled operatives from D-Drill have now returned to the site to finish off the restoration by November of this year.
John Emberson, D-Drill’s branch manager in the North East, said: “We are proud to be working on such an important project for the area and it’s absolutely vital that these sea defences are shored up.
“We are working on behalf of Carillion, the main contractor on the project and everything we do here is limited by the incoming tide and weather – we are having to plan our work accordingly.
“To that end, we have had to pay very strong attention to health & safety – including securing our engineers to a safety line running the full length of the pier.”
D-Drill has been using specialist rock and diamond drilling and sawing equipment including cutting a 300mm deep section along the inner edges of the coping stones to enable the centre deck to be broken out, The team’s highly skilled operatives have also cut 600 mm deep across the end of the pier to allow damaged coping to be removed and replaced.
The firm has drilled holes to allow new rebar to be installed into the new deck and the inner edges of the new and remaining granite coping stones, as well as drilling holes to allow the new copings to be fixed to the pier.
It is all designed to help with the overall process of bolstering the sea defences for the benefit of the community and businesses in Seaham.
John added: “As well as securing our engineers to a safety line, we even had to bolt a safety stop to the coping to eliminate the risk of the diesel floor saw going over the edge into the sea!
“It has been and remains an intricate job in testing conditions – but that’s what D-Drill does best!”
It has been and remains an intricate job in testing conditions – but that’s what D-Drill does best!