Tower Wharf development


Seacon needed to increase the capacity and strength of the approach structure to their berth at Tower Wharf on the Thames to handle new cargoes. RWC was appointed to develop and prepare a detail design; to act as Principal Designer; to secure consents; to prepare tender enquiries; and to undertake contract administration of the construction contract.


The ground conditions at the site are challenging with 15m of soft alluvium overlying terrace gravels. Evaluation of the river/flood wall identified that this comprised a sheet pile wall with inclined ground anchor ties grouted into river terrace gravels. The wall was unable to support the additional quay loading behind the wall. RWC developed a design for replacing the anchors with large steel tubes to strengthen the structure. Consent was secured from EA, PLA, MMO and local councils.

RWC developed a design comprising driven steel piles with a Precast superstructure and in-situ deck. The design enabled construction from the land due to the constrained site and eliminated over water welding and other hazardous construction activities.

RWC prepared an NEC Option A tender and managed the tender process including undertaking tender evaluations and providing commercial advice. Mackley were successful and the Works commenced in September 2021. A key programme issue was to complete the piling activities within the window dictated by the MMO consent which closed on 31/1/22.

Approvals were successfully obtained from relevant authorities, including EA, PLA, MMO, and local councils. Introducing driven steel piles with a precast superstructure, RWC enabled construction from land, eliminating over-water welding and other potential hazards.


The Works were delivered by Mackley on time and with minimal cost overrun without causing disruption to the existing terminal operations. The new approach way provides clear access for solid wheel MAFI trailers carrying up to 60T of cargo each.