Work is under way on scheme to protect a Lowestoft sea wall that had been at risk of breaking up because of erosion.

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As these photographs show, engineers are bolstering the foundations of the vulnerable 170m stretch of flint sea wall at Lowestoft South Beach between the South Pier and Claremont Pier.

As part of the £400,000 Waveney District Council project, 295 sheet-metal panels are being driven into place by excavators which are equipped with a powerful vibrating piling hammer.

It is hoped the piling will be finished by today and that, weather permitting, work will start on the next stage – which involves connecting the sea wall to the sheet panels using concrete slabs.

Once the concrete is put in place, sand will then be placed over the protective foundations.

David Wheeler, project manager at Waveney District Council, said the project had progressed so well since work got under way in January, that it could be completed well within its three-month schedule.

He said: “It is due to end at the end of March, but we are hoping to be away in a couple of weeks before then.

“So far we are ahead of schedule.”

Mr Wheeler said the work was very important from a safety perspective.

“If nothing was done then the foundations of the sea wall would be exposed by erosion,” he said.

“The sea would then leach material out of the wall ultimately leading to part of the promenade going with it.”

During the work, the surrounding beach area has been closed to the public, along with parts of the promenade. The ramps leading down to the beach within the construction site area will also be temporarily closed.

The Triton statue on The Esplanade, which dates from 1849, has also been covered with temporary scaffolding to ensure it is not damaged by the vibrations caused by the piling work.

In October, Waveney’s development control committee approved the £400,000 project after it had been passed by the council’s cabinet. A further £40,000 will also be spent improving adjacent groynes by the sea wall.

That work could be carried out after the summer season and involve divers.

A Waveney District Council spokesman said: “We’d like to thank the public for their patience and co-operation during the works. We’d also like to warn people not to cross site barriers and enter the working area, including the sea immediately in front of the works. By doing so they would place themselves at risk of serious injury.”

4 comments

  • Erosion, with a sinking eastern seaboard and rising sea levels, is a problem full stop and some precaution should now be given thoughts to. I'm talking of the safeguarding of our estuaries and low lying hinterlands, especially the Fenland's which produce one fifth of our national fresh food supplies. A storm barrier from Skegness to Hunstanton with a lock system and tidal power generation, would safeguard this4-6 billion per year national resource. The Thames estuary is in a different league, but soon the barrier will not be sufficient any more, thinking caps are out already there's talk of a second barrier. Then there are the Blackwater and Orwell estuaries, similarly challenged. It is to be seen whether we will adopt a 'safe East Anglia for the next 150 years' policy and spent some serious cash to build dykes and generate green power, as they would and will do in Holland, or whether we will follow the 'retreat and gamble that no storm surge will inundate the Fenland's with salt water and take it out of production for at least five years policy.'

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • Erosion, with a sinking eastern seaboard and rising sea levels, is a problem full stop and some precaution should now be given thoughts to. I'm talking of the safeguarding of our estuaries and low lying hinterlands, especially the Fenland's which produce one fifth of our national fresh food supplies. A storm barrier from Skegness to Hunstanton with a lock system and tidal power generation, would safeguard this4-6 billion per year national resource. The Thames estuary is in a different league, but soon the barrier will not be sufficient any more, thinking caps are out already there's talk of a second barrier. Then there are the Blackwater and Orwell estuaries, similarly challenged. It is to be seen whether we will adopt a 'safe East Anglia for the next 150 years' policy and spent some serious cash to build dykes and generate green power, as they would and will do in Holland, or whether we will follow the 'retreat and gamble that no storm surge will inundate the Fenland's with salt water and take it out of production for at least five years policy.'

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • censor get your act together, or pay your mods some decent wages.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • Lowestoft beach erosion is a problem. Reinforcing hard defensive walls is obviously required as this project is doing. It must be noted that when the sea is allowed to hit such walls due to the lowered beach levels, then the reflected wave energy from the wall will rapidly scour out the beach. It is interesting to note that just south at Pakefield the beach has dropped some 2m as shown by the once buried groyne marker post that is now prominent. My personal observations have noted that long-shore drift cause by wave and also by wind bourne sand has been a net gain northwards recently in the last 3 years which is not typical of this part of coast over longer periods of time. Repairing the groynes will help and questions may be asked as to why many of the Victorian defences were left to dis-integrate through lack of maintenance; the ones at the north denes are just old posts and the beach completed washed away in front of the sea wall. Longer term the solution to solve this could be to make offshore artificial reefs at an angle to the beach. There is also a near shore renewable energy conversion device under development locally that will achieve the same effect, ie to encourage sedimentation of sand. The bigest issue obstacle and time blockage will be with English Nature who are apparently saying that the coast is best left to natural forces and cliffs and beaches should be left to decay. The classic example case is the Easton Bavents SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). English Nature want to protect it by letting it dissolve into the sea! But this classic story is replicated in many locations. Another is the 'oh yes let's flood some fields in Essex and turn them into salt marshes' then wonder why no plant life grows there. The rule of succession of nutrients and plants obviously doesn't apply?? It does actually take several decades to build a solid salt marsh...

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    Dave01

    Friday, February 15, 2013

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