Engineering Design Consultants

Dover Berth 3

In 2012 Eadon Consulting completed the redesign of the mechanisms at the tips of the link span decks and assistance on mechanical, electrical and hydraulic modifications to the passenger walkways on the Dover Berth 3 life extension project.

Working alongside Tony Gee and Partners, the aim of the project was to ensure that the roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) bridge could continue to provide reliable and safe service long into the future.

Both the modifications of the fingers and the walkways required careful detailing in order to ensure that they had sufficient service life as well as the ability to follow ship and tidal movements. The new changes saw Eadon subjecting the proposed revisions to tough fatigue checks in order for the span deck to be competent under the frequent heavy weight of the vehicles it would be hosting.

The hydraulically operated fingers form the final interface between the ro-ro linkspan and the vessel. When not in use, the fingers are stowed vertically forming a barrier at the end of the linkspan. When a vessel is present, the hydraulic cylinders lower the fingers individually down onto the deck. Sensors on the tips of the fingers detect when they make contact with the vessel, and put the hydraulic circuit into 'free float' mode, allowing the finger to articulate freely to accommodate the pitch, roll and heave of the deck. The fingers are designed to allow for a wide range of motion in order to minimise the time when the facility is out of action due to bad weather.

An added safety measure implemented on the refurbished berth was incorporated so that if the control system detects that the vessel has left its berth due to the swell in the dock, the cylinders leave float mode and once again provide support to the finger. The capacity of the fingers and associated actuating cylinders are such that they can support the weight of a lorry as a cantilevered load.

With this successful project, works for berth 2 have been given the go ahead and there are also plans for the modifications to be rolled out to other berths in the near future.

For more information regarding our movable structures design services or to discuss your requirements, please telephone 0114 399 0400 or email us.

Key Facts
  • Location:
    Dover
  • Client:
    Tony Gee and Partners