Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Civil, Structural, & Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Joseph Harrington


RPS Group was appointed by Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners to develop a master plan for a waterfront development in Bantry Bay Inner Harbour. It has been proposed that the inner harbour be dredged to a sufficient water depth to allow the entrance of marine craft. The purpose of the thesis is to evaluate and discuss the decisions regarding the environmental impacts that a harbour development would have on Bantry Bay. This research investigates the feasibility of alternative dredge treatment processes used in the Bantry Bay Inner Harbour Development. This research investigates the possibility of reusing the dredge material on site, treatment of contaminated material and testing carried out to find the current extent of the contamination on site. A detailed literature review presents the current guidelines required in order to bring the Bantry project to fruition. International practice is reviewed to complete an investigation into the elements of the project. Development plans include improvements to the existing commercial pier and the provision of a 230 berth marina. It has been planned that a temporary treatment area for contaminated dredge material be provided while uncontaminated dredge material be reused on site as fill material for reclamation. Planning permission has been granted as of August 2013. Bantry Harbour Commissioners were contacted and any documents relating to the project were obtained from Michael Murphy Harbour Master for Bantry Bay. Colm Sheehan from Anthony D Bates partnership was contacted about the previous work he had done on Bantry Bay relating to his PhD. Copies of chemical testing results from the site in 2009 were attained. Borehole logs from the Inner harbour were attained also. A number of photographic surveys was carried out at both low tide and at high tide. Samples were taken from Bantry Bay as part of the research. The physical and chemical testing results indicated that the sediment itself has good engineering characteristics, but the presence of contaminants prevent the disposal of DM at sea or use on site prior to treatment. The bedrock in the Inner harbour is overlain by a mixture of materials comprising fine to coarse sediments and/ or cobbles. A sediment treatment process called soil washing is investigated to see if it is a feasible approach to deal with the contaminants on site. Soil washing has the potential to remove a wide variety of chemical contaminants from soils. An alternative harbour design is proposed which meets the demands that Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners had set while also meeting their budget of €7.5 million. An environmental and economic comparison between the approach taken by RPS Consultants and the approach taken in this thesis for material treatment is undertaken and the potential for each noted, compared and contrasted.

Access Level