Case Studies

Dover Sea Wall Emergency Reinforcement Works

Customer – Network Rail

Project duration – 6 weeks

When – December 2015

Type – Sheet piling, Driven piling, Rock armour


After severe weather left cracks in a sea wall at Dover on Christmas Eve, Suttles was tasked with reinforcing a stretch of damaged railway line.

Network Rail was forced to close the line between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central stations, after high tides dislodged material from behind the sea wall, which left cracks and sink holes near the railway tracks.

In order to save the line and prevent it being washed away, Suttles delivered a response that utilised all parts of the company – Suttle Stone Quarries, Suttle Projects and Suttle Piling.

Suttles worked rapidly, in tidal shifts, to place 2,600-tonnes of Purbeck rock armour against the existing sea wall. Suttles’ Swanworth quarry was able to facilitate the supply of necessary stone for these emergency works during the Christmas period. Steel sheet piles were installed to both secure the rock armour in position, and protect further undermining of the wall.


The steel sheet piles were installed using a Movax SP70F4 rig. Rock armour was delivered to Dover from Suttle Stone Quarries’ Swanworth depot and transported in Suttles’ fleet of 8-wheeled tipper lorries. Once at Dover, rock armour was stockpiled 800m from the work site, loaded into articulated dump trucks, and shuttled to the works area for placement by excavators with rock grab attachment.