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Rocks at Dun Laoghaire Baths Redevelopment Take Shape

16th December 2018
Twin-screw tug workboat Husky based in Wicklow Port, alongside barge Selina, is held in position (during a high tide) to enable rock armour work at the Dun Laoghaire Baths redevelopment project in Scotsmans Bay. In the background is Sandycove on the south side of Dublin Bay, where the Martello Tower (of James Joyce fame) is just discernible, see under right grabber excavator. Twin-screw tug workboat Husky based in Wicklow Port, alongside barge Selina, is held in position (during a high tide) to enable rock armour work at the Dun Laoghaire Baths redevelopment project in Scotsmans Bay. In the background is Sandycove on the south side of Dublin Bay, where the Martello Tower (of James Joyce fame) is just discernible, see under right grabber excavator. Photo: Alpha Marine -facebook

#DublinBay - The rock armour used at the site of the Dun Laoghaire Baths redevelopment project costing €10 million, can each weigh up to 6 tonnes, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Works on the coastal site between Dun Laoghaire Harbour's East Pier and Newtownsmith, began 10 days ago though since then bad weather has hampered in the dumping of the rocks.

Where times have been favourable, tugs have towed the 6,000 tonne barge, Selina, from the harbour around into Scotsmans Bay where a trio of grab excavators on board dump the rocks on to the foreshore. At this location is where the old baths site has lain derelict for more than two decades.

The boulders are then repositoned into place to act as rock armour so that the new jetty also for use by small craft in the baths project, will be protected from coastal erosion.

The public amenity is a project of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, which is to transform the seafront and reinvent the area as a destination for swimmers and sports enthusiasts and draw visitors from far and wide to the borough.

In the meantime, such sea based operations of the project to install the rock armour, have involved the MTS Indus of UK based Marine & Towage Services Ltd of Brixham, Devon. In addition the services of Husky belonging to Wicklow Port based Alpha Marine which has been retained during the sea defence process.

MTS Indus is a single-screw multi-purpose tug with a bollard pull of 24 tonnes, that was also responsible in towing the Selina to Dun Laoghaire last month. On arrival to the harbour, the barge laden with rock armour from Falmouth, Cornwall, berthed at St. Michaels Pier, which has since acted as base in between works carried out subject to weather and tidal conditions.

When Selina has been towed outside the harbour by MTS Indus this is where Husky, a twin-screw, tug/workboat with advantage of a shallow draft has operated in close proximity of the foreshore (as shown in the photo above). The tug remains alongside the barge to hold into position to enable more accurate disposal of rocks grabbed by the excavators into the water. 

The Belfast registered tug has undertaken many projects elsewhere, among them in the UK at Shoreham Harbour for a windfarm project of the Sussex coast as Alfoat reported last year.

As for the Irish project's additional facilities, they are to include a cafe and studio work spaces for artists. These features in the overall project that has been designed in house by DLRCoCo own architectural department.

The contract for the project from the council was awarded in a joint venture between SIAC Construction and Mantovani Group and is scheduled for completion in Spring 2020.

Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Dun Laoghaire Baths Renovation

Afloat has been reporting on the new plans for the publically owned Dun Laoghaire Baths site located at the back of the East Pier since 2011 when plans for its development first went on display by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. 

Foreshore consent was applied for in 2013.

Last used 30 years ago as the 'Rainbow Rapids' before falling into dereliction – the new site does not include a public pool.

The refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths include the existing Baths Pavilion for use as artist workspaces, a gallery café and for the provision of public toilet facilities. 

Work finally got underway at Dún Laoghaire on the €9 million redevelopments of the old Dún Laoghaire Baths site in June 2018 under a contract with SIAC-Mantovani.

The works have removed dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion to permit the creation of a new route and landscaping that will connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the Peoples Park. 

Original saltwater pools have been filled in and new enhanced facilities for swimming and greater access to the water’s edge by means of a short jetty have also been provided.

The works included the delivery of rock armour to protect the new buildings from storm damage especially during easterly gales. 

It hasn't all been plain sailing during the construction phase with plastic fibres used in construction washing into the sea in November 2018

Work continues on the project in Spring 2020 with the new pier structure clearly visible from the shoreline.

A plinth at the end of the pier will be used to mount a statue of Roger Casement, a former Sandycove resident and Irish nationalist.

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