Over the past week our shop in Pier Road has had a number of visitors telling us that they’ve read that the sea defence works will be finished by the end of May.
Regrettably this isn’t the case. It would appear that this confusion has arisen following an article in the Littlehampton Gazette where it was stated:
“Good weather in spring has allowed work to progress quickly in creating the 450 meter-long tidal river wall.
This phase of the project is now due to be completed in May.”
What’s appears to have led to the confusion is that the above paragraph has given the impression that the works are finished in May. An understandable misunderstanding. However, what has been said is that the first, and probably the most difficult phase of the scheme, the piling works, will be finished in May.
The contractor advised us yesterday, Monday 11th May, that they’re hoping to be complete of piling works within the next two weeks. There is only now two piling gate lefts in Pier Road, this being in the North end.
Once these are completed, the next phase of the works begins in Pier Road and Arun Parade, which includes creating the concrete caps on top of the piling wall. Although as the picture below shows, work on constructing the concrete cap and wall in Arun Parade has already begun and quite advanced.
Work has begun on the concrete capping at the top end of Arun Parade. The above picture indicates the height of the new sea wall – you can see the original railings in front of it, which gives an indication of high Littlehampton’s new sea wall will be.
Construction of Littlehampton’s Flood Defences with the concrete capping now been constructed on top of the piling wall.
As the piling wall is now almost complete in Pier Road, the back filling has begun which takes place prior to the concrete cap being constructed.
The piling is now almost complete along Arun Parade and Pier Road with only two remaining piling gates to be completed to join up with the original East Bank’s riverside development flood defences.
A regular question by visitors to our shop is – Will the Sea Defence wall in Pier Road and Arun Parade be higher than the existing wall along the East bank riverside walkway?
My understanding (from our consultation meetings) is that when the riverside development was constructed they worked to a then ’30-year standard’, which was applicable at that time. Since then the standards for sea defence construction has changed and the Environment Agency are building to deliver a ‘100 year standard’. Thus explaining the difference in heights.
It’s difficult say just how high the new wall will be, but going on what we can now see at Arun Parade, the wall will be very high. Which is why Arun District Council have to go get the public realm design right.
So no more piling?
Yes for Pier Road and Arun Parade, but once the piling works have been completed with us in Pier Road, the piling crews move onto the next reach, which is in the River Road area.
VolkerStevin have erected notices there advising that River Road will be closed from 27th May 2014 until October 2014 to allow for this second phase of construction. The actual closure will be between the Red Footbridge (which won’t be closed) and numbers 1-5 Riverside Walk.
Where can I get more information?
If you have any concerns regarding the forthcoming closure of River Road or any questions regarding the project – do pop into see Eric Smethurst who is scheme’s Public Liaison Manager. Eric’s Visitor Centre is located at the Oyster Pond and is open Wednesday to Sunday.
What about the Free Parking?
Arun District Council are only now allowing the first hour to be free in the West Green Car Park. However, you can now park anywhere in this car park and avail of the first hour free. However, the previous agreement where we were getting free parking for visitors to Pier Road and Harbour Park has now been withdrawn.
Furthermore, be aware that at the North end of Pier Road – this being the Harbour Office/Travis Perkins end – the seasonal yellow lines are back in force. There is limited 1-hr free parking here as there’s always been.
So do please take care when parking and make sure you read the signs carefully.
Remember to keep up to date with the Pier Road Diaries, just enter your email address in the box on the right hand top (ish) side of this page and you’ll get regular updates.
You can also follow us on twitter @Pier_road
As always, thanks for reading.