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Manta Barriers used at Canvey Island Sea Defence site

The problem

The Environment Agency has begun a £75 million project to keep homes and business in Canvey Island protected from flooding.

The company carrying out the work needed a safety barrier which could navigate the bends and turns of the shoreline, and prove professional, durable, and resilient to the elements.

The works will disrupt the sea views for locals and tourists who will live with the construction works until Summer 2025. So, the barriers in situ need to compliment the location as much as possible, whilst also performing a pivotal safety function.

With the revetment work taking place over 5-hour periods between 6am and 10pm (within the low tide window). It’s important that the barriers create the safest possible environment for plant and people to work, during times when members of the public will be in the area.

The Solution

The team responsible for the project were very particular about the barriers they wanted to use. The coast can be a punishing location for barriers, so the system used had to be wind resistant, anti-corrosion and look aesthetically pleasing. They liked how the steel bases worked with the mesh, so we supplied Manta barriers to line the 3 km stretch of the Island’s existing tidal flood defence.

The Manta Barrier was an ideal choice for the project because it looks very professional along the shore front. Manta barriers are powder coated so a good anti-corrosion option and the mesh fence allows the sea air to blow through the panels. The Manta is both crash and wind-tunnel tested which offers means a high safety rating.

As the world’s most recyclable material, steel plays a central role in transitioning to a low-carbon circular economy. Sustainability and environmental considerations and fundamentally important to the project in its entirety. A barrier in keeping with sustainability criteria is a prime candidate for the task. Sandra Howey is the Key Account Manager who has been working with the team on the Island to ensure that delivery and installation was on time and efficiently scheduled to minimise disruption. The Essex-based team spoke very highly about their experience with working with Safe Site Facilities.

Manta Barrier Installation in Essex

The improvements to the tidal defences will protect the 6,097 properties for another 50 years. The work considers the effects of climate change and the rising sea levels. Once complete, additional enhancements will be made to the Canvey Island shoreline including improved public access to the seaward walkway. New steps will be added to the beach and foreshore and flowering grass seed mixes will be planted to improve the biodiversity on the defence.

Sandra explains a little more about the project and how excited she is that Safe Site Facilities were involved:

“Our client has been a key customer with us for many years, and we enjoy working together on important projects. Effective, and regular communication between ourselves and the local teams is crucial, we work hard to make sure the right people involved at every stage of the process.”

The outcome

We delivered 268 Manta Barriers and fence panels to Essex for the client to install along the shoreline.

The barriers were delivered across 8 arctic loads and ran to a tight schedule. Deliveries at these types of sites (residential areas) are a major part of the service and we were proven to offer competitive rates for the barriers and delivery.

We can install the product anywhere in the UK but on this occasion and with the personnel in place, the client elected to complete the installation themselves. We spoke to those that put the barriers and mesh fence together and they spoke positively about how easy the barriers were to put together. The Manta barriers slot into each other (end to end) and the fence panels slot into the top. They’re then just secured in place using couplers at the top and bottom section of each mesh panel using the tools provided.

The client is very happy, and the barriers look very professional and striking. The steel barriers are being put to the test against the tough sea air and wind but with the barriers have a class a wind rating in addition to crash test certificate so should fair very well in their new home.

Manta Barriers with fence in Essex

Photo credit: Richard Windell

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