Woolwich Ferry Lead Design

The Brief

Robert West undertook a feasibility study to support the business case for replacement of existing ferries together with refurbishing and upgrading supporting infrastructure at Woolwich Ferry Terminal. Our services included metocean data, dynamic mooring assessment, design of floating pontoons and anchoring piles as well as the definition of all nautical equipment (bollards and fenders) including an automated mooring device to expedite mooring operations. Particular attention was given to the underground foot tunnel, an early 20th century that required to be protected during and after the works. Part of the assistance also dealt with the remove of the existing berthing structures which required detailed surveys to identify UXO and similar river bed obstructions. The automated mooring device consists of a magnet type pad that secures the ship once it has berthed.

Value-Added Solution

The work developed led to a continued relation with Client, by being awarded the Detail Design Project for the new Woolwich Ferry (starting December 2016). Our contribution allowed for an continuous discussion with the different engineering firms, namely, ferry naval engineers, auto mooring provider, contactor via ECI format, the Client (ferry operator), and Transport for London (the Owner). This format allowed for identifying and dealing of all the key interface points that jointly, are crucial for a successful project. While doing so, we also worked in close relationship with the Client and the appointed Contractor in order to optimize the final solution.

Final Outcomes

An outline design was provided for the new berths, which comprised of floating pontoons with vertical steel restraint piles, double auto mooring system to maintain operational levels and workboat berths on both sides of the pontoon with new access provision to provide for increased levels of safety.

We were thrilled to see this project shortlisted as one of ten projects for the Institution of Civil Engineers Awards in 2019.


Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd.

End Client

Transport for London
  • Committed
  • Engaging
  • Professional
  • Confident
  • Adaptable

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