Matlock Project

Algeco supports reinstatement of Matlock flood defences

The Challenge

The River Derwent runs through the centre of Matlock, the county town of Derbyshire, which means, along with surface water flooding, the area presents a risk of flooding. Following a storm event in February 2022, a 20 metre section of riverside wall collapsed, which resulted in the town becoming more vulnerable to deluge.

Jackson Civil Engineering was appointed by the Environment Agency to construct a replacement flood wall that extends from the failure zone down to Matlock Bridge. To enable the construction of a replacement flood wall, temporary alterations were made to the nearby 15th century Matlock Bridge to allow two-way traffic over it for up to 18 months.

Prior to the main remedial work commencing, a team led by Jackson Civil Engineering carried out emergency works to protect properties following the riverside wall collapse. Severe surface water flooding in early 2022 resulted in many businesses on Bakewell Road being deluged.

Major stakeholders in the project include Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Dales District Council.

The Solution

Main contractor Jackson, working in collaboration with the Environment Agency, was appointed to lead the reconstruction of flood defences around Matlock bridge.

A short construction schedule was required on this project in order to complete as much work during the summer months when the river level is lower.

Jackson specified Algeco because the company was able to provide a rapid turnaround on its one-stop-shop site cabins hire solution. These are available as full turnkey solutions including fitting and furniture.

The Algeco site cabins were positioned in Matlock bus interchange, due to a lack of space around the river work area.

Algeco provided seven site cabins for use as: secure storage units, gatehouse, smoking shelter, offices, meeting room, changing rooms and toilet block. Algeco also supplied the furniture and fire protection, which is now a standard offering for all its hire units.

The temporary site cabins will be on hire for this project for approximately 12 months.

Enabling work started in early June involving temporary alterations to Matlock Bridge to reinstate two-way traffic for a period. The main construction work will be delivered in multiple phases and the aim is to have the bulk of the engineered solution in place before this winter.

Jackson expect to continue work in stages throughout 2023 to make the engineered solution look more aesthetically pleasing and in-keeping with the local character and heritage of Matlock. Algeco site cabins will be utilised for the duration of the project.

There is no landward access to the river from behind Crown Square in Matlock and so Jackson had to use of an 800-ton crane – named ‘Lifty McShifty’ in a local competition - to lift materials into the work area.

The Results

The Algeco site cabins were delivered exactly to schedule and handed over to Jackson as a turnkey solution in June. As a result, the construction team were able to begin work in early summer as planned.

The ability to stack the Algeco site cabins two-storey and in a U-shape helped minimise space taken in the train station carpark and with it disruption to the local community. 

Using the bus interchange as a base for the site cabins meant that there was minimal disruption to the traffic flowing in and out of the town centre. The Algeco cabins now provide safe, office and welfare accommodation for the construction teams.

Jackson is well known for being considerate constructors, which is key in such a bustling town centre site like Matlock. This extends to the welfare provision for Jackson staff. As a result, the Algeco modules were supplied with furniture, canteen pack, even down to the microwave and kettles!

Minimising disruption was priority for the Environment Agency on this project and the reason why it hosted community drop-in events with other project partners, including Jackson Civil Engineering in May and July to share plans with the local community.

Paul Robinson, General Foreman at Jackson, said: “Algeco devised a very effective solution around our site accommodation requirements, and we found the whole process of dealing with the company refreshingly straightforward. We were given multiple contacts at Algeco who we could call if needed.”

He added: “Supplying the cabins on a rapid turnaround has been pivotal in enabling our construction teams to begin work in early summer. The site accommodation solution that we have at Matlock provides a high-quality welfare, office and storage facility that is sited on a very tight footprint.”

Mark Fyfe, Business Development Manager – Infrastructure sector at Algeco, said: “Sometimes the most difficult element of a project is delivery of the final 5%. This was the case at Matlock, where the 5% revolved around meeting the constrained site requirements in a public car park and the rapid turnaround of the site cabins. We are pleased that the outcomes lived up to expectations and that the flood defence work is progressing to plan.”

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