Bramley-Moore Dock, one year on, is a world away from the once semi-derelict dock that is being transformed into a world-class stadium.
From the day planning approval was granted for Everton’s new home, on 23 February, 2021, work has taken place at a breathless rate to bring the dream to life.
A lot of the detailed preparation and design work had already been undertaken, in order to provide a robust application and in the anticipation that this project and the vast social benefits it would deliver would be given the green light by Liverpool City Council.
This involved a significant level of engagement with statutory stakeholders, fans and the general public, which helped to shape the designs submitted.
The quality of the planning application submitted left no stone unturned, with the aim to ensure that the application would not be ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State, which was ratified in late March.
This confirmation removed the final planning barrier for Everton’s new £500m home, following the long search for a stadium site.
A ground-breaking ceremony in early August, attended by our Chairman, Bill Kenwright, and CEO, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, finally announced to the world that the building of the 52.888-seater stadium was under way.
Construction Partner Laing O’Rourke, one of the world's most reputed international engineering and construction companies, then undertook one of their most unique, challenging and ambitious projects to date.
The first step was the demolition of all above ground non-listed buildings, including dilapidated warehouses dating back to the dock’s heyday. In doing so, protecting the historic Grade Two Listed Hydraulic Tower, dating back to 1883, was a priority, given its importance to the site and inclusion in the fan plaza that will eventually provide a jaw-dropping entrance to the stadium site for fans.
The huge task of infilling the dock itself – replacing the huge water body with approximately 500,000 cubic metres of sea-dredged sand – was a headline-grabbing feat of maritime engineering that took three months of round-the-clock activity and involved a dredger making more than 140 round trips over 20 miles out into the Irish Sea to collect sand, after divers in the dock had searched for, and found, unexploded ordnance, among other detritus.
Ahead of the infill, wildlife from the dock was re-housed as just one of a number of environmental and bio-diversity concerns that were addressed, including recycling existing site materials and addressing flood plain levels in the design.
Once filled, a 16-tonne hammer machine undertook the task of compacting the sand, which is subsequently being piled by two piling rigs, in tandem, to provide the 2,500 vertical concrete foundations for the overground build.
And with the concrete-pre-cast elements now emerging from the ground – using a system of Design of Manufacture and Assembly pioneered by Laing O’Rourke, in which large sections of completed structures and panels are made off-site in factory conditions and brought directly to the site to be slotted into place - work is well under way to erect a stadium that Evertonians can be proud of for generations to come.