During its 45 year life span the bridge has been hit three times by shipping, each time causing superficial damage. The new works will protect against a full on impact which could result in a long term bridge closure costing the local economy an estimated £680 million.
VolkerStevin Marine has already completed the ground investigation works for the project and has been involved during the final design stages. The second stage of works that have been awarded will comprise of the installation of steel tubular driven piles from a large floating crane barge and the installation of scour protection to the riverbed in the area of the pier protection works.
The fabrication and installation of precast concrete shell units weighing between 250 and 300 tonnes each will then form the soffit and outer perimeter of the pier protection structures. These will be placed onto the piled foundations using a heavy lifting barge and will connected together structurally using in-situ concrete.
The works will be carried out from floating marine plant with the navigation channel remaining open throughout the works. The road bridge will also remain open to traffic and pedestrians throughout both phases of the project.
Danny Kruit, project manager at VolkerStevin Marine, said: "We are currently working on the design for the temporary works, which involves all support structures required for the construction sequences, the formwork and hoisting frames for the precast concrete shell units. In parallel we are developing the detailed work methods and the selection of marine equipment for the works. This is an exciting project to be involved with and will benefit the local economy in the long term."
Fergus Wilson, Engineer for the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board, said: "This is a major construction project which when completed will protect the most vulnerable bridge piers from any potential impact from shipping travelling to and from Perth. VolkerStevin Marine has chosen to sign up to the Discover Opportunities Partnership which will help local people into employment and will have knock on benefits for the communities which adjoin the bridge."
The works will begin in October 2011 and take 18 months to complete.
VolkerStevin Marine is a Joint Venture which utilises the specialist skills of sister companies VolkerStevin and Volker Stevin Construction Europe. Both part of Dutch based VolkerWessels.