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Matlock Piling Operations conclude in time for Christmas 22 December 2022

Restoring flood defences to Peak District town

Over the last few months, we’ve been installing a steel sheet pile flood defence wall in Matlock, following a 20 metre section of the previous wall collapsing during a storm event in February 2022.

Working on the edge of the River Derwent, the sheet piles have been installed using the Giken Supercrush method, whereby the ground is augered at the same time as piles are pressed-in without vibration. This technique was selected given the town-centre location, the sensitive nature of the adjacent Grade II* listed Matlock Bridge, and the extremely tough Derbyshire limestone. Two of our Giken Supercrush Silent Pilers have been at site working side by side, facilitated by an 800-tonne crane functioning from the nearby A6 Derwent Way, as there is no landward access to the river.

Reaching a significant milestone

Working closely with main contractor Jackson Civil Engineering and the Environment Agency, we have been working to maximise the construction programme; the aim being to complete piling operations in time for Christmas, so that flood protection from the river can be swiftly reinstated.

Naomi Doughty, Project Manager for the Environment Agency said:

“We have reached a significant milestone with placing the sheet piles, given how tough the Derbyshire limestone has proven to be. This critical milestone in the construction programme will provide a stable retaining wall upon which the flood wall can then be built in the new year and ensure that we swiftly reinstate flood protection from the River Derwent for the town.”

“We thank the local community for their continued support and understanding while we build these essential flood defences and apologise for the temporary disruption caused by the construction works.”

Better protection for the local community

Now all sheet piles have been installed, we will return early in January 2023 to complete the finishing details. The sheet piles will also eventually be clad to improve aesthetics, using materials in keeping with the character of the local architecture in the Derbyshire county town of Matlock.

The new improved flood defences will reduce risk to around 50 homes and businesses in the immediate vicinity from future flooding caused by overflow from the River Derwent.

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