Latest Update from Littlehampton’s Sea Defences

Last week, the crane was successfully positioned on its new Crane Bridge, which will now carry it along Pier Road.

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The week got off to a flying start as the first batch of piles were driven into the River Arun in the Pier Road stretch. Above, the crane sitting proudly on it’s new crane bridge which as you can see, part of which, rests on the piles.

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The Crane on its new platform beginning the piling works in Pier Road.

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A paddler getting a closer look at the construction of the Environment Agency’s flood defence scheme in Littlehampton. From the above picture, you can see the piling works in the Pier Road reach are making considerable progress.

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The second part of the crane bridge arrived earlier in the week and this has now been assembled in front of the original bridge allowing the crane to move forward to begin on the next batch of piles.

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Welders working on assembling the new section of the crane bridge.

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Once this new section of the crane bridge was completed, the crane drove forward into its new position further along Pier Road. Work is now underway to remove the section of the crane bridge that the crane was sitting on, which will then be positioned in front of this section, thus allowing the crane to ‘leap frog’ along Pier Road.

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The structure in front of the crane bridge is the piling gate, which has to be assembled to allow the crane position the piles into the gate so they can be driven accurately into the river bed. It’s easy to see why this won’t be a quick job.

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The area behind the piling is back-filled with aggregate.

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The first pile in the next batch is positioned and once in place the piling gate will then be fixed to it allowing the other piles to be carefully positioned. When all the piles in this gate are successfully driven home, the now redundant section of the crane bridge will be positioned on top of them thus creating the next platform the next gate and so on until they reach their final destination in Pier Road where they’ll marry up with the riverside walkway.

Littlehampton Sea Defences 8The vibro hammer drives in the pile to it’s first position and the pile is then driven home with the banging hammer. The one that you can hear most days now. While not a particularly welcoming sound, it is good news as when you can hear it, you know the work is underway. The Contractors estimate that piling should be completed in Pier Road sometime in May.

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Above, the piling gate has now been assembled and is in place to allow the crane position the next batch of piles.

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Appearances can be misleading and while Pier Road gives a great view of the works in progress, it doesn’t show the actual progress that well. The above stretch of piling has been achieved in super-quick time.

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As you step back on the West Beach side and take in the view, you can see just how much progress has already been achieved in the Arun Parade Reach.

Pier Road Littlehampton

Above picture illustrates the increased height of the flood defences. On top of the piles will be a concrete capping, railings thereby increasing its height even further. As you can see this will impact on the views looking out from the restaurants once the scheme is completed.

It’s vital that the enhancements to ‘soften’ the impact of this wall is successfully created, otherwise Pier Road and it’s roadside environs will be looking at a concrete wall for its future.

Apologies that I had no blog update last week as the Pier Road Diaries have moved severs. A couple of technical hitches have now been sorted out and we’re back on track.

As always, thanks for reading and following.

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