Littlehampton Sea Defence Works hampered by bad weather, broken machinery leading to ongoing delays

And further delays expected….

Not the best of news, I’m afraid.

The Environment Agency have confirmed that Littlehampton’s Sea defences have already fallen approximately two weeks behind. Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency explained earlier the problems they’ve experienced.

Andrew says: “We have encountered a number of issues on site during the first 4 weeks of construction. Firstly, poor weather and high winds in the first two weeks led to some delay in the building of the crane.

Secondly, we have encountered some problems building the very large steel piling gate which allows us to drive steel piles into the ground. It’s extremely important to get this correct.

Thirdly, the brand new crane which is being used to move the heavy steel for the piling gate and to drive the piles has developed a major mechanical fault.”

So, how will this impact on the end date for the completion of the scheme?

Andrew says: “Whilst we are all working extremely hard to manage and resolve these issues, the combination of these factors has currently occurred a delay in progress in the order of two weeks. We have plans in place to resolve these issues, but at the current time, there is the potential for the duration of the current delays to increase.”

Littlehampton Sea Defences crane workSpecialists are now working on the crane in an attempt to repair it. The major problem described by Andrew is that the engine has seized believed to be caused by a loss of all its oil during operation. Unfortunately, it appears replacing the engine isn’t going to be easy owing to the logistical problems in the relatively small area where the crane operates.

Some better news in that Pier Road’s and Littlehampton’s only and best fresh fish kiosk is now open for business after being swung into it’s new position just opposite the Nelson Public House.

Riverside Fish LittlehamptonRiverside Fish Kiosk is now open again for business and customers today were enjoying buying some of Littlehampton’s freshest fish.

Fish Mongers in LittlehamptonIf you haven’t already sampled the fresh fish from Riverside Fish, pop down and taste the difference between supermarket – factory-farmed fish and the real thing caught off our beautiful shores as well as further afield. Simon (pictured above) is an ex-commercial fisherman and his wealth of knowledge in how to prepare (ask him nicely and he’ll do it for you) and cook fish is second to none.

Understandably, there is a growing sense of frustration and despair amongst traders in Pier Road as we’re looking at a road which is now closed with little or nothing appearing to be going on in it.

Littlehampton Sea DefencesThis picture taken earlier today, Friday, 22nd November shows Pier Road over a month on since the works began and the only apparent difference being the removal of the litter bins and the Fish Kiosk moved to it’s new location.

However, Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency is more reassuring about this saying: “We have built periods of non-productive time, (it’s called ‘float’ in project manager terms) into our programme of works for poor weather. This means we are able to tolerate a certain amount of weather delay and still meet out key dates.”

Another notable development is that the Environment Agency’s Public Drop In Centre is now up and running and is located just above the Oyster Pond (just behind Riverside Fish Kiosk) and is manned by the very amenable Eric Smethurst who is VolkerStevin’s Public Liaison Manager.

Environment Agency Visitor information centre LittlehamptonThe Environment Agency’s Public Drop in Centre is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – 8am to 4pm. Outside of these hours, Eric is not too far away and can usually be found somewhere on site.

The long awaited “Pier Road Open for Business signs” have now gone up at all the major road closed junctions and a special thanks to John Edjvet, Arun District Council’s Regeneration Officer/Town Centre Manager for taking the lead and erecting smaller signs in all of Arun District Council’s seafront notice boards and also for arranging signage to be placed at the Flintstones Centre in Littlehampton Town Centre.

Pier road open for businessJohn Edjvet from Arun District Council’s signage on along Littlehampton promenade.

Finally, please, please remember that Pier Road is open as usual for business and we’d love to see you here. We’re all extremely grateful for those regular customers who have continued to support our businesses during what is a difficult time.

Remember, or if you’re not aware, if you’re visiting Pier Road there is ample free parking in West Green Car Park – this is the car park just outside the Windmill. Look for the signs as you drive in. If you’re coming from the opposite direction to Pier Road – as in from New Road the double lines along Pier Road are seasonal and not currently enforced. You can usually find short term parking along here if you’re visiting Pier Road.

Again, thanks for reading – if you haven’t already make sure you sign up for regular updates on Pier Road Diaries by entering your email in the top right hand corner. Do also follow Pier Road on our twitter account – @Pier_road

And do, please come and visit us.

Finally,  500 Santas are due to visit Littlehampton Seafront all in aid of raising funds for St Barnabas Hospice. The event, the first of it’s kind will be run this Sunday starting at 11am. Competitors can sprint, jog or walk a 3km route (about 2 miles) from Banjo Road Car Park.

If you’d like to be one of the 500 Santas, please visit St Barnabas Hospice Website registration page listed below. If not, make sure you pop along on Sunday morning to cheer them on and help them with their fundraising.

To register visit here.

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