The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has announced the Port of Dover as one of the top 200 influential projects, past and present, which illustrate how civil engineering has shaped the world and transformed people's lives for the better.
To mark the ICE's 200th anniversary, and to support Government's Year of Engineering, the Institution is highlighting 200 inspirational and world-changing projects from around the world throughout 2018. Nominated by the ICE's members and selected by an expert panel, the chosen projects illustrate the breadth and depth of civil engineering's impact.
The Port of Dover has played a significant role in British history. Dover's existence as a harbour of refuge contributed to Britain's strength as a trading nation. The port was also an essential base for the Royal Navy during both world wars and played a major role in the evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk in 1940.
This was made possible in part due an enduring connection between the ICE and the Port. Thomas Telford, ICE's 1st President, was approached by the Duke of Wellington, then Chairman of Dover Harbour Board, in 1834 to be involved in the development of Wellington Dock - the first enclosed dock in Dover – which now forms a key feature in the port's current development.
Sir John Hawshaw, another past President of the ICE, designed the Admiralty Pier, which still forms the western arm of the harbour. Completed in 1909, the 800ft (244m) long stone structure curving out from the shore into the English Channel was named as one of the great British engineering feats of the 19th and early 20th century. Built of large concrete blocks weighing from 30 to 40 tons, it has outward granite facing on those blocks that are above water level.
Today, thanks to the building blocks of the past two centuries, Dover remains a leading commercial port and is currently undergoing a new phase of development. The Port of Dover's flagship £250m Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development is the single biggest investment it has ever undertaken and represents the next exciting stage of its evolution, delivering long-term capacity for a key international gateway handling trade to the value of £122bn and representing up to 17% of UK trade in goods.
Jonathan Baggs, Director ICE South East England, said:
"The development of the Port is recognition of its importance locally and internationally as Europe's busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port.
"The investment of this scale in the region shows how infrastructure can be a catalyst for economic growth and improving the lives of local people - and civil engineers are at the heart of delivering this".
With UK Government approval DWDR will deliver two deep-water berths and a new refrigerated cargo terminal, with 13 hectares of reclaimed land for future port-centric development – thereby releasing space to enhance the capacity and efficiency of the ferry terminal in the Eastern Docks. With DWDR plans also including a new marina in the outer harbour and a transformed waterfront, the project will protect jobs and create long-term economic benefit both locally and nationally.
Dave Herrod, DWDR Programme Director at the Port of Dover, said:
"The Port's flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) is a one-off opportunity for the regeneration of Dover, bringing new investment into the area and ultimately ensuring the long-term resilience of this vital cross-Channel trade link.
"The revival of the western part of the Port estate supports the developing destination agenda for Dover, being identified as the key catalyst for the wider regeneration of the area. It has delivered valuable employment opportunities during construction and will continue to do so on completion of the new cargo facility."
The Port of Dover is one of 200 projects that will be published throughout the year on the What Is Civil Engineering? pages of the ICE website. What is Civil Engineering? will not only host these projects but can also be used as a career guidance tool for those hoping to pursue a career in civil engineering. Once inspired by the projects being produced each month, there is comprehensive advice and guidance on how to become a civil engineer no matter what level of education someone has, or what stage in their career they have reached.
This platform has been designed to help promote the career of civil engineering after it was revealed that only 45% of adults know what the career entails and only 35% of young people could tell you what a civil engineer does.