Work starts on £1.2m repairs to Cromer Pier
PUBLISHED: 15:47 25 May 2012
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012
A section of Cromer Pier has been cordoned off signalling the start of a £1.2m repair scheme for the historic holiday jetty.
Work, which is scheduled to last 68 weeks, is designed to minimise disruption to the 1901 landmark, whose metal skeleton and wooden decking are in need of an overhaul.
Preparatory work has seen half the landward end of the pier fenced off to give contractors access through the deck to the legs and trusses below in the coming months.
North Norfolk District Council coastal engineer Brian Farrow said replacement metal main trusses and cross braces were currently being made off site.
The workers were trained in rope work and would be using abseiling-style techniques to lower themselves below the decks, where walkways would also be constructed.
“We are trying not to open up big areas of the decking. The aim is to have minimal impact on the pier. We will keep the theatre, shops, toilets and lifeboat station open,” said Mr Farrow.
“There will be minor inconvenience to the public but they are generally very good, and interested in what we are doing.”
About 12-15pc of the metalwork was in need of repair. The early work also involved checking the programme of work to see if the ever-changing harsh conditions had re-prioritised the schedule.
The biggest sections of metal were 15m lengths of the three main trusses running the length of the pier. A decision was still to be made on whether they would be brought down to the pier in full or half lengths. Getting them around the hairpin bends at the top and bottom of the Melbourne slope would be a factor.
Work also included repairing horizontal metal ties - made from old railway lines which were strong but whose connectors were vulnerable - and improving concrete collars around the main legs, which were not there for strength but for protection, and which could involve divers, said Mr Farrow.
The final phase of the work replacing the wooden decking would take place after the summer season was over, probably next winter, he added.
The scheme was designed to put the pier in good stead for another 20 years.