March marks the first anniversary of the Coastal Defence Scheme work starting at both the Central Prestatyn and Rhyl sites. The projects, which are jointly worth £97m are designed to protect properties along the Prestatyn and Rhyl coast.

The Work at the Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence Scheme focuses on the area adjacent to Rhyl Golf Club. This project will protect over 2,000 properties from potential floods and coastal erosion for the next 100 years.

Work on the Prestatyn scheme is centred on building a high embankment to protect the area from coastal flooding. The embankment is being built in three stages, with the work currently coming towards the end of Phase 2. This means all work on building up the protecting embankment, concrete repairs on the promenade and construction of two new outfalls will soon be complete. Once this phase has come to an end, workers will have placed 52,800m3 of stone fill to the embankment, the equivalent volume of 440 average sized static caravans. Much of the stone used is limestone which comes from a local quarry in St George, Abergele.

After phase 2 is complete, the scheme will be demobilised until the end of the settlement period. This will allow the stone and ground on the embankment to settle properly, before the final level can be added. During this settlement period engineers will be monitoring the settlement data closely to determine when the next stage, stage 3, can then commence.

The Central Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme is now more than a third of the way towards completion, and is well on schedule to finish in Autumn 2025. It is estimated that approximately 550 residential and 45 non-residential properties – including key seafront landmarks, businesses and homes – will be protected thanks to this work.

Over the past 12 months, over 90 people, ranging from security personnel to engineers, beach marshals and plant operators, have been working hard on both the Western and Eastern Sections of the scheme, during all hours and in all kinds of weather.

The Western Section is progressing well. Most of the work in this area is concentrated, as it involves lifting and widening this part of the promenade considerably, as well as installing a new revetment. The revetment is made up of 760 pre-cast concrete panels, each weighing 13 tonnes, the same as a Double Decker bus. To date 197 pre-cast concrete panels have been placed on 3,200 m³ of a concrete base, which has come from suppliers in Llysfaen & Abergele. Work on installing these started in October of last year with work heading Eastwards now. When this stage is complete, widening and lifting the new promenade will begin.

The Eastern Section runs from down towards Splash Point, where most of the work in installing the rock toe protection (rock buried below the sand) to fortify the existing defences has already been completed. An estimated 29,300 tonnes of rock, all from local quarries, will be used on this section, the equivalent of 2,253 Double Decker buses. The large ramp which has been installed will remain, as it is to enable disabled access to the beach. Work on this section is expected to be completed by summer.

Both Schemes are funded by Welsh Government and Denbighshire County Council, with the work being carried out by Balfour Beatty.

Over 140 people – many of them local – have been employed on both Rhyl and Prestatyn schemes in the past year. Since both schemes started, there have been several apprentices and graduates working on the coastal defences, with a final goal of 22 across both schemes. In addition, 4 work experience opportunities have been completed to date with more planned for the year ahead. The project team have also engaged with 284 early career students at local schools, colleges, and career fairs.

Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport said:

“It is so pleasing to see that progress on both of these schemes is progressing so well. These schemes will be protecting thousands of properties and people from potential coastal flooding.

I’d like to thank the residents for their understanding and cooperation during this construction period.”

Balfour Beatty Project Manager for both schemes, Chris Hull, said:

“We’re delighted at the excellent progress we’ve made on both schemes.

They’re both very different projects, with very different challenges, but we are happy to report things are bang on schedule with the Rhyl project and, even better, in Prestatyn’s case, ahead of schedule.”

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