Propump Engineering’s foamed concrete came to the rescue following emergency repair work at Bridgwater’s West Quay, a riverside street which dramatically and unexpectedly collapsed when around a 1000t of masonry quay wall fell into the river during winter rains.

With the health and safety of the community paramount, 19 properties had to be evacuated following the wall collapse which left a 6 metre deep, 35 metre long chasm along the road adjacent to the River Parett.

As part of the complex rebuild following the emergency repairs, which was made all the more challenging due to incoming tidal flows, Propump were appointed by the Somerset County Council (SCC) structures team to deliver a foamed concrete solution as a lightweight backfill to the new wall which was set to replace the Georgian original.

Working with main contractor Crestmoor Construction, the work was broken down into several phases with Propump required to deliver a fast fill of 50m3 of foamed concrete at a 1350kg/m3 density and a 3N/mm2 strength for the southern end of the street, the location of several businesses and homes.

To avoid any unnecessary loading on the riverside, Propump utilised their Inline Foaming and Pumping System which was positioned a safe distance from the wall. Small and easy to transport to site, the pumping system has been specifically designed for the production of low density foamed concretes which can be pumped over 100 metres.

Propump used their extensive experience combined with a dedication and philosophy to work with Crestmoor’s team to deliver a thoroughly successful solution, with the project subsequently being awarded the Fleming Award for geotechnical engineering excellence.

Increasingly popular with designers and engineers, foamed concrete is perfect for filling voids where access is difficult or when a lightweight mix is needed to meet restricted loading limits. Its most common applications include bridges, floor and roof screeds, pre-cast panels, sewers and tunnels.

Thanks to Propump and foamed concrete playing a crucial role in the quay rebuild, the homes and businesses along West Quay in Bridgwater are now protected for many years to come.