Van Oord the Dredging contractor, are dredging the Turning Circle on behalf of Medway Ports, to enable barges to turn more easily.
The turning circle is at the widest point of the Creek where larger craft such as Thames barges can turn around without going aground. If they do ground across the creek and cannot escape before the tide drops, then they may end up supported either end and not in the middle. This can result in serious or even terminal damage if the hull sags in the middle, and to the point where the structure cracks.
The process needs fairly high tides to give them time to complete a section, on a falling tide, so that the ebb carries it right out of the creek to sea.
This is the type of equipment that we plan to use in the Basin to open up the channel to the Purifier building and also create a turning circle just below in the middle of the Basin. This will enable vessels to deliver materials direct to the workshop, and as well as to come up for repair. Access will be through the building itself. More on that later.