East of England
The cliffs on a popular seaside resort located in the East of England, had a history of instability and recent major slips had seriously threatened various landmarks as well as public safety. Work was put into action to address the problem and to stabilize the affected section of cliffs to prevent future incidents occurring.
Jacksons Fencing were appointed by a major construction company, to undertake the installation behalf of the town council. The project was designed to safeguard members of the public choosing to take a walk along the newly specially designated route along the cliff top.
There were a number of critical issues to consider on this complex project and the specialist technical expertise at Jacksons were heavily called upon to deliver a safe and entirely bespoke solution. Firstly, the railings used to create a strong barrier to contain pedestrian footfall were required to offer specific crowd loading capabilities to withstand the potential weight of traffic on a precarious cliff top site. This was particularly significant given that the area, with its natural vantage point, attracts significant crowds for a local air show attraction. Secondly, all materials used in the installation needed to demonstrate a proven ability to cope with the challenging marine environment. Finally, a response needed to be identified to ensure a secure fixing of the railings to the cliff itself since it was not possible to attach directly to the retaining wall.
All the fencing selected for the build was designed around Jacksons’ popular Bow Top fencing, with the introduction of specially adapted posts and mountings. Tubular Bow Top railings are a popular choice for a site requiring permanent protection, with the tubular construction offering extra strength and no visible joins resulting in vandal proof connections. The close proximity to the sea demanded that the Bow Top fencing required a special marine powder coating to ensure protection against the exposed elements.
The 1.2 metre high fence was secured to the cliff by bolting it onto the capping which featured at the top of the concrete piles installed to stabilize the cliff. At the lower level of the cliff, on the esplanade, the fixings for the fence were made to a specially created steel beam, which was inserted at the back of the central piles designed to prevent any further movement of the cliff face.
The undulating nature of the terrain demanded the creation of raked panels to accommodate the changes in levels. In addition, Jacksons Fencing designed and manufactured four bespoke end panels to serve as an added safety precaution to denote the final walking point, at each end of the two top and bottom walkways that are open to the public.
The over-riding priority for this particular installation was clearly to ensure a safe and secure access route across the cliff top. The project required significant input from Jacksons’ highly experienced in-house design team and technical advisors, alongside the proven manufacturing prowess to deliver a totally bespoke solution.
The resulting walkway represents something of an engineering feat, the innate requirement to offer a stable and inherently strong barrier has been successfully balanced with the need to achieve an aesthetically pleasing and welcoming access route.