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Like for like replacement of Swanage Pier's greenheart timber piles and careful efforts to limit disturbance of a unique marine environment won Scott Wilson a prestigious engineering award this weekend. The consultant's technical director Kim Chandler picked up the National Piers Society's Peter Mason award for outstanding work at the organisation's AGM.

The 195m long, Grade II listed pier at Swanage was built entirely from timber in 1896. It has become a major attraction for divers and marine biologists interested in the artificial reef that has prospered among and around the piles beneath low tide level in the warm, calm bay.

But the original greenheart timber and decking were suffering the ill effects of the marine borer Limnoria Terebrans. And a whole section had been re-spanned in concrete after the pier was breached as a precaution in the second world war.

When client the Swanage Pier Trust secured funding to refurbish the pier in 1996 SW opted to restore the pier in timber as part of a two year, £730,000 project. Around a quarter of the pier's 170 timber piles were extracted and new ones driven using a crane on a spud leg barge.

Contractor for the scheme was Branford Civil & Marine.

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