CAN Geotechnical, RSK’s geotechnical engineering specialist, has been awarded a contract to stabilise part of the historic Clock Café beachfront chalet area in Scarborough, on the North Yorkshire coast in the UK, after the collapse of a retaining wall.
The landmark Clock Café beach chalets were damaged in a fire in 2013 and further impacted when the failure of a retaining wall saw it collapse against the historic Grade 2-listed beach huts. The area had to be completely closed and securely fenced off because of the damage caused to the huts, thus leaving them at risk of complete collapse. Additional movement and a further landslip in November 2018 ultimately led to the demolition of the chalets in November 2019.
Following its own planning for the stabilisation works, Scarborough Borough Council finalised a design and put the stabilisation package out to tender in spring 2020. CAN Geotechnical offered an alternative bid and was awarded the project based on its own bespoke, tailor-made design.
CAN’s solution was to replace the cast-in-situ concrete retaining wall element with a more cost-effective option. This would consist of a hybrid reinforced soil-retaining structure and rebuilt facing to the wall, backfilled with compacted Class 6I fill reinforced with layers of geogrid material.
Speaking about the project, CAN’s Business Development Director, Ben Foulger, said: “With the layers of geogrid reinforcement tying the courses of the new wall into the soil nails installed in the slope behind the new structure, a robust, permanent stabilisation solution will be provided while minimising the need to import a large volume of concrete to the difficult-access area. As well as the restitution of the retaining wall, additional work will be carried out to improve drainage and to landscape the area on completion.
“This means that the popular huts can be replaced with new ones, after the retaining wall has been safely reconstructed and brought back into use, in the same position as the original ones.”
CAN Geotechnical’s alternative design has been finalised and construction works started on site on 17 August and will last for 12 weeks. The popular Clock Café will remain open for the duration of the works.