In August 2015, Jacksons was asked by Border Force to tender for the design, manufacture and installation of security fencing and gates to improve the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais perimeter.
Following a site visit, a tender was submitted for review by Eurotunnel and Border Force, plus wind loading and foundation calculations.
Two contractors were appointed to manufacture and install 5km of fencing plus gates by the end of October. 80% of the new fencing would be used to reinforce current security measures with additional layers. 20% would replace existing fencing.
Although initially awarded 3.3km of the contract, as of February 2016, Jacksons had worked at 4 locations across the site, installing 9.6km of fencing and 41 gates.
Jacksons needed to keep a 70-strong site team at Coquelles in France supplied with posts, concrete, fixings, 358 welded mesh panels and razor wire 8 hours a day while they worked in the 4 locations, and this proved to be the most challenging aspect of the project.
Stephen Hancock, Jacksons Contracts Manager said: "When you have transplanted a large, dynamic team of people along with a fleet of plant, associated equipment and supplies to France and established a secure compound with health and safety and welfare facilitiess you have to make sure that those resources are optimised at all times.
"We took a leaf out of Eurotunnel’s book and ran a shuttle service from our HQ close to Ashford to our secure compound on site in Coquelles via Eurotunnel…and from that compound, using the two-way radio link between the fencing teams, loaders and drivers, we coordinated our fleet of tractors and trailers, excavators, dumpers, cherry-pickers and tele-handlers which supplied and supported the teams with equipment and materials throughout every working day."
The team included a native French contingent, as most of the principal client contacts on site were French, as were security personnel, local concrete suppliers and site welfare facilities.
Fencing and gates were based on the 358 wire mesh panel system, with welds at each intersection for strength, and small apertures to eliminate foot and finger holds and prevent objects being passed through it. It is also resistant to cutting by conventional hand tools.
The Securi-Mesh 358 fencing system is coated in zinc-aluminium for additional corrosion resistance and finished in a white architectural grade powder coating.
It measures 3.8m above ground and is topped by 450mm high ‘Y’ shaped extensions with 6 rows of barbed wire and coiled concertina razor wire resulting in an overall fence height of 4.25m which is maintained over the contours of the Eurotunnel site.
Jacksons also manufactured and installed 30 single- and 10 double-leaf manual pedestrian and vehicle swing gates at the site, and one 8m automated cantilever sliding gate which was designed and installed fully compliant with EU Machinery Directive 2006/46/EU.
Soon after the Jacksons team arrived, they were asked to respond to an emergency request following the breach of security by 200 migrants. The team responded within an hour and quickly replaced and repaired the damaged sections of fencing.
Disruption to the Eurotunnel service was kept to a minimum as Jacksons undertook a thorough risk assessment process ahead of arrival on site and constantly monitored changing conditions as additional sections were worked on. This ensured there were no reported injuries or stoppages throughout the contract.