Sand dredged from the Irish Sea is being pumped into Bramley-Moore Dock as the foundations for Everton’s new stadium begin to take shape.
Over the next three months, the Grade II-listed dock, which is 325m long, 125m wide and 10m deep, will be infilled with more than 450,000 cubic metres of fluidised sand, via a pipeline connected to a dredger moored in the River Mersey.
The sand itself is collected from Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea, about 25 miles north of Bramley-Moore Dock.
Everton’s Stadium Development Director, Colin Chong, said: “This is a huge maritime engineering project and, in many ways, the very laying of the foundations for the new stadium.
“All the preparatory work so far, in raking the dock bed of unwanted materials and the relocation of marine life, has led to this important stage and now the dock itself has been sealed, work has begun on filling the dock.
“We expect the whole infilling process to take around four months and is a hugely complicated process.
“A trailer dredger is connected to a discharge pipeline floating on the surface of the shore, and the sand is then fluidised in a hopper then hydraulically pumped, via the pipeline, over the River Mersey wall to a spreader pontoon within the dock.
“This pontoon will then evenly distribute the sand within the dock and displace the water into a neighbouring dock and this continues until the reclamation of land is above the original dock water level.”
Once the dock is infilled with sand, a controlled process will consolidate the upper six metres by dropping a nine-tonne weight, at a frequency of 60 times per minute.
The resulting compacted and rolled surface will then be suitable for the piling process, which begins early next year. This will form the sub-structure of the new 52,888-capacity stadium.
The development in Liverpool’s Northern Docks is recognised as the largest single-site private sector development currently in construction in the UK.
The transformational development is a symbol of how the Liverpool City Region is leading the North and the UK’s post-pandemic recovery by delivering one of the largest packages of public benefits ever seen in the North West, generating a £1.3billion boost to the economy, creating thousands of jobs and attracting 1.4million visitors to the Liverpool City Region.