(Excerpt from piece originally published in World Construction)
An international garden festival exhibition grounds recently built on a 46-ha site was a flat wasteland of industrial landfill, disused oil tank depot, and a silted-up shipyard.
In 1982, when Liverpool, England won approval to hold an international festival, Europeans scoffed. The Germans and Dutch each spent at least five years and $90-million on their festivals held the preceding two years. Liverpool planned to open in less than half the time and with a budget of only $17-million. That the festival opened on time and within 2% of the budget is largely due to skillful site reclamation and to a triad of on-site management firms that provided control of scheduling and construction, design integrity, and costs on a daily basis.
Site reclamation was the first priority. Merseyside Development Corp., a local governmental agency, provided a $13.5-million grant to remove the storage tanks and shipyard structures. This work was planned before the festival was proposed. Once Liverpool won approval for the show, additional work began. At its peak, 35 subcontractors were involved in the reclamation.
One of the first tasks was the removal of silt from the shipyard. Westminster Dredging, a U.K. subsidiary of the Dutch Bos-Kalis Corp., used two C.Z. Eeem cutter-suction dredges to pump silt from the site. The dredges removed an average 10,000 tons of silt a day for eight weeks; 600,000 tones of silt was pumped into an adjacent dock for storage and eventual disposal at sea.