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Bed Protection
Victoria Terminal, Belfast Harbour, Northern Ireland
Berth Protection Using Incomat

Belfast Harbour, Victoria Terminal 4 Berth Protection

The High-speed Sea Service (HSS) ferry berth was moved
seaward to Victoria Terminal 4 in 2008 to accommodate
large HSS vessels on the Belfast to Stranraer crossing.
Significant bed protection works were required to the berth
to protect the piled combi wall span height and embedment
depth. The large HSS had high velocity exit jets up to 23 m/s.
The existing ferry berth required deepening to accommodate the new Roll-on, Roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry terminal.
The scheme designers were concerned about the
potential for undermining the existing quay wall and the
requirement to over dig by 2 m to accommodate a 2 m
depth of traditional rip-rap armour scour protection to
resist flows of up to 8.7 m/s of propeller wash.
The complexity of the installation was made more difficult
by the requirement to provide protection around the
existing quay walls and revetment slopes.

The designers opted to use an 480 mm thick constant
thickness concrete mattress, namely Incomat Standard

Trial filling showing Incomat Filter point mattress FP 60.148/20 (LHS)

connected to Incomat Standard 20.120 (RHS)

20.144 (CT480) to provide adequate scour protection.

The principal advantage of the concrete mattress is the
thickness required to resist the 8.7 m/s of propeller wash
which is significantly less when compared to more
traditional rip-rap and rock armour (typically one quarter
of thickness) reducing overdig and dredging at the base
of the existing quay wall and help to preserve limited
clearance and wall span depth.
Mattress panels typically 30 m long were rolled out by
divers and zip connectors used to form ball and socket
shear joints.
The averaged mattress thickness of 480 mm allowed
placement of a lower protection system by concrete grout
pumped from the quayside. A 35 N/mm2 micro concrete
mix was used to fill the mattress using a long reach boom
Typical installation rates were 100-130 m2/day per dive
team. The scour apron comprised 4.700 m2 of mattress.

Bed Protection

Principal mattress layout plan

Mattress installation used a semi-automated filling system

which increased output and allowed installation between
ferry movements for each 10 hour working day period.
The outer revetment slopes at the new turning head used
a combination of Incomat Filter point mattress 60.148/20
(FP225) in the intertidal zone allowing for rapid draw down
and dissipation of water pressures beneath the mattress.
Incomat Standard 20.112 (CT150) was used for erosion
protection below.
The berth protection system utilised Incomat Standard
20.144 (CT 480) for the main depth and Incomat Standard
20.120 (CT220) for the lower slopes. Controlled joints were
made between each of the thicknesses which can be seen
in the trial image. Proserve specified the provision of a rip
rap falling apron stone edge detail which allows for the
potential for future scour of the edge protection. This
accommodates additional scour to the design scour levels
and allows suitable inspection and maintenance of this key

The Ro Ro berth at Belfast harbour was extended to
accommodate the new Superfast 203 m long conventional
type ferry vessels. Proserve provided a concrete mattress
system with design and installation advice to the main
contractor McLaughlin & Harvey for the berth scour
protection works for Belfast Harbour Commissioners.
Reduced thickness of scour protection (up to 75%)
compared to traditional rocks solutions
Reduced over- dig at the base of the existing quay wall
Grouting from quayside
Reduced use of divers
Economical solution providing cost and program
Lead design:
Mattress design:

Cross-section of the berth with scour protection system


Belfast Harbour, Berth VT4

Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast Harbour Commissioners
Royal Haskoning
Proserve Ltd.
McLaughlin and Harvey
Incomat Fabrication/Supervision
Proserve specialist marine
construction engineers
Incomat Filter point mattress
FP 60.148/20
Incomat Standard 20.112
Incomat Standard 20.120
Incomat Standard 20.144

Incomat is a registered trademark of HUESKER Synthetic GmbH.

09/13 B Copyright by HUESKER Synthetic GmbH, Gescher

Typical cross-section of the outer revetment slope