Giant barge floats into the North Bay

North Bay'The rig which had moored up in North Bay.'Picture by Neil Silk  123237a'10/08/12
North Bay'The rig which had moored up in North Bay.'Picture by Neil Silk 123237a'10/08/12
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Scarborough’s North Bay has a new visitor after an 18 metre floating barge arrived off the shore as part of a seabed testing programme.

The vessel, called Seajack 1, will be in the North Bay for around five days, where it will test the seabed and beach.

North Bay'The rig which had moored up in North Bay.'Picture by Neil Silk  123237a'10/08/12

North Bay'The rig which had moored up in North Bay.'Picture by Neil Silk 123237a'10/08/12

The tests are being carried out by Yorkshire Water ahead of its plans to install new storm overflow pipes next year as part of its £50 million project to improve the quality of Scarborogh’s beaches.

A machine located on the barge will be used to take samples of the sediment and rock up to 6 metres deep into the ground, using a weighted mechanism to allow it to push into the ground at three different sites on the North Bay.

Project manager Ben Shearer said: “This investigation work is an essential part of our overall improvements for Scarborough, since it will provide a technical understanding of the ground where two new coastal pipes will be built next year.

“The sample information will be used to help design the pipes so that they can be constructed in the best way possible and within the timescales required before new tighter bathing water standards come into force.

“We’re already well ahead of schedule and we’re aiming to finish this phase of work in Scarborough by August 19.”

Mr Shearer said Yorkshire Water is keen to reassure residents and visitors that the beach will remain fully open throughout the testing work, and that all necessary safety measures are in place.

Ahead being towed in Scarborough the barge carried out testing work in Bridlington after being assembled in Grimsby.

It has also been used for a number of other high profile projects including the Loughor Viaduct in South Wales and the Thames Tunnel in central London.

The barge testing is part of Yorkshire Water’s £110 million investment aimed at making beaches on the region’s East Coast some of the best in Europe. Working with local councils, the Environment Agency, Welcome to Yorkshire and local organisations including the Sons of Neptune, the goal is to ensure Yorkshire’s bathing waters have the best chance of achieving the new “excellent standard due to come into force in 2015 as part of the European Revised Bathing Water Directive.

Other work in Scarborough as part of Yorkshire Water’s scheme is well underway at the waste water treatment works and in Marine Drive. Work at Peasholm Gap is due to start in the Autumn.