Built before the Second World War to receive household waste from London and last used over 25 years ago, the wharf is back in use after a £½ million pound refit.
Canary Wharf Contractors Limited began construction of the new Canary Wharf Crossrail station on 15 May. Over 150,000 tonnes of material will be excavated – of which about one third will be re-used on site. Over the next two years, the rest will mostly be taken by barge to the Veolia Pitsea site where it will be used as high quality restoration material.
Paul Levett, Deputy Chief Executive, Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc, says:
“We are very much in favour of the Crossrail project and the economic and social benefits it will bring to the south east. It also provides us with this exciting opportunity to re-open the Lower Wharf – and use river transport to Pitsea once again. This time it is for the restoration materials to make sure we can achieve our objective of providing high quality land for public access once the site is restored.
“This is another example of our active support for the use of river-borne transport for moving waste and easing road congestion. By transporting this bulky, heavy material via the Thames, we will significantly reduce noise, air pollution and traffic by taking over 20,000 lorry trips off Essex and East London roads.”
Nick Walsh, Managing Director, S. Walsh & Sons Ltd, says: “S. Walsh has worked hard over a number of years with Veolia to encourage a greater use of the river in transporting construction waste. The River Thames is London’s most under utilised highway. The Canary Wharf Crossrail Station project and the re-opening of Lower Wharf are both steps forward in seeing river transport used to its full potential once again.”
The soils are loaded into four 350 tonne capacity barges and towed by tug to a buoy at the entrance to Holehaven creek. A smaller tug then delivers two barges at a time to the refurbished wharf – which has to be accurately timed to coincide with the high tides.
Using a special long-reach excavator, the soil is unloaded into 25 tonne dumper trucks for transport across the site and stockpiling ready for use in the restoration of the landfill. In total, five million tonnes of soils will be needed to restore the site by 2017, ready for public access and nature conservation.