At the time, recovering and repairing the gate could have been a very expensive and lengthy procedure, but thanks to an innovative engineering solution developed by Royal Haskoning and Mersey Docks and Harbour’s Chief Engineer, the gate has now been repaired and reinstated, and is spearheading an ongoing programme of refurbishment at the Port.
The 17m by 21m gate needed to be horizontal and in the dry to enable it to be repaired. The gate weighed some 400 tonnes and would have needed a large specialist lift crane from the Netherlands to lift it out of the water outright. The normal way of dealing with this would have been to float the gate into a dry dock and dry it out onto dock blocks. However, as the gate was damaged it was not thought to be stable enough to float it flat on its back as the gate had only been moved around using the MDHC floating crane holding it in a vertical position.