By Rob Rogers, Head of Construction, Maintenance and Environment
Navigation Committee members have welcomed the news that the Broads Authority has exceeded its annual dredging target by more than 13%
At the committee meeting last Thursday I updated on the progress of the Construction, Maintenance and Environment Section work programme, including the fact that 56,507m3 of sediment had been removed from the rivers and broads during 2013/14 against a target of 50,000m3.
This is great news for boat users and the Authority and was largely thanks to progress made at Duck Island and helped by the milder winter. Significant progress has also been made at Heigham Sound, Upton Dyke, the Chet and the hump in Breydon Water.
The committee also welcomed news of tree and scrub clearance on the Upper Bure and Upper Ant for navigation and land management purposes.
More good news was that the new 24 hour moorings at Hardley Cross has been completed and opened in time for the season boasting 90m of new mooring space and 25 new mooring posts.
Mud pumping at Heigham Sound went well with more than 13,000m3 and dredging at Upton Dyke has been completed, with boats being allowed back into the dyke. The arisings have been put into a shallow set back to de-water. Once dried, the area will be restored to a grassed area with a small wetland section at the basin end, to encourage biodiversity.
The dredging in the River Chet, from Pye’s Mill to the 24hr mooring has been completed, including Loddon basin. Some of this sediment is being used as part of the European partnership project (PRISMA) trial where sediment is mixed with varying amounts of cement and lime to see what level is needed to bring the material up to the required sheer strength. This will help with future flood defence works and has the potential of providing a future re-use of dredged material.
Breydon Water had some maintenance spot dredging undertaken, with 500m3 removed near the downstream span, adjacent to the true right bank. This small lump was causing a shallow spot and was picked up by the Rangers on a routine patrol. A damaged navigation channel marker post has also been replaced.