Three Reasons Why You Should Hire A Civil Engineer To Oversee Construction Of Your New Jetty

Posted on: 8 June 2017

Waterside homes and properties are always incredibly sought after, and if you are lucky enough to own one, you will probably want to construct a jetty to make launching watercraft easier and safer. However, constructing a jetty properly isn't simply a case of hammering a few poles into a riverbank and leaving it at that — to ensure that the jetty you construct is safe, practical and mostly importantly legal, you should seriously consider hiring a civil engineer to oversee construction works.

Civil engineers possess enormous expertise and information across a wide variety of construction disciplines, and utilising a civil engineering service before and during jetty construction can benefit your project in a number of important ways:

Ensure building code compliance

Before any construction work can even begin, you will have to make sure that the jetty you wish to build doesn't break any local laws. You will almost certainly have to seek dedicated planning permission from local government authorities, and the authorities that manage the waterway your jetty will be constructed on tend to have very strict regulations on jetty design and construction. Hiring a civil engineer is an excellent way to overcome these legal hurdles, as they will help you design a jetty that meets all local planning laws to the letter.

Choose the right materials

Gone are the days when jetties were rickety, wobbly artifices of rotting timber. Modern jetties are created from a wide variety of materials, from marine plywood to aluminium. With so many materials on offer, it can be difficult to know which are most suited to your specific needs — a civil engineer will be able to advise you on the best materials to use and which materials represent the best value for money when their cost is measured against their longevity.

Prevent excess erosion

Constructing a jetty may not seem like a particularly destructive project, but driving heavy pilings into the banks of a waterway can dramatically effect the stability and erosion resistance of the soil around them. In addition, the jetty itself can exacerbate soil erosion by redirecting water flow towards the banks (this is a particularly troublesome problem for jetties constructed on tidal rivers). Consequently, a jetty constructed without consideration of soil erosion can drastically alter the contours of a body of water, which can fatally undermine your jetty's stability and even cause localised flooding.

Once again, hiring a civil engineer to oversee the jetty design and construction process is the best way to go. By studying local soil conditions, tidal forces and other natural factors they will be able to advise you on the best location for your jetty, placing the jetty in areas less vulnerable to rapid erosion. They will also help you design and construct any anti-erosion defenses you may require, such as gabions and timber revetments.