Fair Isle Breakwater

Preliminary schemes were modelled and modified and resulted in the final design solution consisting of a dredged basin, a solid quay and a breakwater
Tags: Coastal Engineering

Fair Isle is located about 26 miles south of Shetland and 30 miles northeast of Orkney.  This isolated island is largely dependent on its sea link with Shetland.  In the past there have been occasions when sea conditions within The Haven, as the natural harbour on Fair Isle is called, have prevented the local supply boat/ferry, MV 'Good Shepherd IV', landing on Fair Isle, thus interrupting the island's supplies.

In 1990, the firm was commissioned by Shetland Islands Council to examine possible ways of improving conditions within the Haven.  The recommended solution was the construction of a breakwater to provide the required shelter.  Under the firm's direction, the Hydraulics Research Laboratories in Wallingford undertook a physical model study.  Preliminary schemes were modelled and modified and resulted in the final design solution consisting of a dredged basin, a solid quay and a breakwater.

The firm undertook the detailed design and site supervision of the project, which included the construction of a breakwater comprising some 27,000 tonnes of rock armour imported from Norway with primary rock armour weights ranging up to 18 tonnes; dredging to provide a minimum depth of 4m within the harbour and construction of an 8m high solid quay comprising stacked precast concrete units, coupled up using tie-bars and finally grouted.  The area behind the quay wall was reclaimed and finished off with a paved area for parking and general use.  The project was completed in May 1993 at a cost of £2.4 million.


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