The canoe jetty steps project is part of a £1.9 million regeneration of the Castlebasin area of Enniskillen town centre. It involves a significant upgrade to the River Erne walkway between Enniskillen Castle and the Erne Shopping Centre. The canoe jetty steps will provide river users with a safe access point to the River Erne. Lagan Construction, the primary contractor of the Castlebasin regeneration scheme, sub-contracted Relinea to design, supply and install the Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) canoe jetty steps.
Lagan Construction required canoe jetty steps suitable for a marine environment that would be manufactured from a corrosion resistant material, as part of the canoe jetty structure would be continuously submerged in the river’s current. Since the canoe steps were open to the public, the area required a safe walk-on surface which incorporated a slip resistant finish and a small open mesh structure to facilitate water drainage.
The installation aspect of the project proved quite challenging in terms of health and safety issues when installing the canoe steps in and around the water of the River Erne.
Relinea manufactured the canoe jetty steps from GRP Mini-Mesh grating; ideal for the marine environment since GRP is non-corrosive and chemical resistant. Relinea's Mini-Mesh grating (with embedded grit technology) provided a slip resistant finish to prevent pedestrian accidents. The 20mm sq mesh size of the grating met the required drainage specification of the canoe jetty steps, whilst the small mesh size further provided added comfort for barefooted users. A high visibility yellow anti-slip nosing (Re-Grip ULTRA Nosing) was used along the edge of the canoe steps to provide warning for pedestrians with poor vision (DDA compliant).
Relinea’s design team developed a three tier GRP platform frame with GRP support structures. The Mini-Mesh Grating was cut in an overall outside 17m radius to suit the profile of the frame. Similarly, the curved high visibility step edge nosings were manufactured using a bespoke 17m radius mould to equally complement the contour of the platform frame.
Since the canoe jetty area could not be cordoned off from the tide of the river, Relinea’s installation team had to make allowances for the area flooding during the installation as part of the project risk assessment. The frame structure was successfully fixed into concrete underwater using non-corrosive SS 316L (Marine Grade) bolts and fixings. At the concluding stages of the installation, Relinea revised the canoe steps design to reduce the potential impact that the anti-slip grit finish step nosings could have on canoes through fixing a rubber buffer to the outside edge of the steps.
Relinea completed the installation to a high standard and to the complete satisfaction of Lagan Construction, whilst professionally adhering to onsite health and safety requirements.