A Giant 160 tonne Crane has arrived in Pier Road

At the moment, work is ongoing to ‘rig’ the gigantic 160 tonne crane that has just arrived in Pier Road, Littlehampton ahead of next week’s scheduled piling works.

This massive crane is so big that it had to be transported in sections. The caterpillar tracks are so big (weighing approximately 7 tonnes) that each one had to be transported separately in their own 40ft articulated trailer. Crane in Pier RoadPictured above is one of the two 40ft articulated trailers needed to transport the caterpillar tracks, which have come all the way from Austria and have been built especially for the new crane.

Crane in Pier Road 2Unloading one of the two giant caterpillar tracks, which weigh approximately 7 tonnes. Just looking at the size of the articulated trailer needed to transport each one, gives you an idea as to just how big these are.

Crane in Pier Road 3You get some idea of the enormity of these tracks in the picture above.

CraneThe crane pictured above, which itself is an impressive size at 60 tonnes is being used to ‘assemble’ or rig –  to give the procedure its correct technical term – the 160 tonne crane.

Crane in Pier Road 4The Track is then lined up and fitted to the main body of the crane.

Crane in Pier Road 5Here you can see the second crane working on rigging the giant 160 tonne crane, which when fully rigged will have the potential to reach over 70 metres. Although the engineers advise that they don’t anticipate needing this full range.

Largest craneAll fits together like a giant lego set.

largest crane everIn the foreground you can see the ‘jibs’ which go to make up the main arms of the crane. These are white tubular space frame parts and there are different jib arrangements depending on the work being undertaken.

This amazing crane has the potential to lift a mass of 140 tonnes with only a very short reach, say 4 metres. Given the relatively narrow working conditions in Pier Road, it’s easy to see why this crane is needed.

The sheet steel piles which will be used to build Littlehampton’s Sea Defences are a staggering 20 metres in length and weight over 4 tonnes each. The crane is expected to reach about 50 metres while holding a pile.

Largest Crane at night 2A picture (above and below)  taken earlier tonight (Thursday, 7th November) of the crane in Pier Road.

Largest crane at nightAs always, a big thanks to Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency for sharing the technical information with us.

If you get a spare moment, then do pop down to Pier Road to see this crane in the flesh. Rigging is still ongoing and it’s fascinating to watch.

We’ve been advised that piling works starts next week.

Update on Littlehampton’s Sea Defence Works

Environment Agency Sea DefencesThis super little craft owned by the Environment Agency is just one of the recent strange goings on in Pier Road in recent days. More about it in a moment, but first the bizarre notice from the Royal Mail stuck to their post box in Arun Parade announcing the removal of the Post Box as Pier Road would shortly be closed owing to the proposed sea defence works.

Royal Mail LittlehamptonIf you click on the picture you can read the notice – which essentially says that they’ve been advised by Arun District Council that Pier Road will be closed for anywhere between 12-18 months.

Yes, we know it’s going to close, but we’ve been assured by both Arun District Council and the Environment Agency that the works to Pier Road would take up to six months and the works wouldn’t interfere with the summer season.

Our contact at the Environment Agency confirms this is still the case and believes the Royal Mail have misinterpreted what they’ve been told by Arun District Council.

We’re not convinced in Pier Road and many of us expect that these works will go on for considerably longer than the promised 6 months.

A Traffic Order closing Pier Road and Arun Parade appeared in last week’s Littlehampton Gazette and West Sussex County Council declared that Pier Road would be closed to vehicular traffic from 7th October to 8 August 2014. This application made by the Environment Agency.

Back to the Environment Agency’s Green Boat.

Environment Agency BoatThis boat has been designed to measure the speed/velocity of the river’s flow and assist in forecasting what impact, if any, the Environment’s Agency’s Sea Defences will have on the speed of the river.

A number of parites have expressed serious concerns that once the sea defences are completed, the river arun will flow even faster and could potentially become unsuitable for leisure use.

Concerns have also been expressed that with the narrowing of the river, there will be insufficient room for commercial traffic to visit the harbour.

To-date, these concerns have been dismissed by the Environment Agency’s engineers who have been commissioned to design the sea defences.

They predict a maximum of 5% change, if any.

However, as fears and concerns are growing, the green boat has been introduced by the Environment Agency to double check on the figures given to them by their consulting engineers.

The results of the tests aren’t yet public, however the boat was in action all day and into Friday evening.

The above pictures of it may give a misleading impression – it’s much smaller than it appears as shown below.

Environment Agency Boat measureThe boat is referred to as an ARC Boat. More information on it can be found here.

When will the road closures in Pier Road take place?

The Environment Agency have now officially confirmed that Pier Road and Arun Parade will close to vehicular traffic starting on 21st October 2013. Our sidebar calender has now been updated to countdown this momentous event.

What will Pier Road look like then?

It’s difficult to imagine how Pier Road will look to those of us who live and work here, let alone visitors, but essentially immediately outside our businesses will be a narrow footway (1.5metres) directly in front of which will be wooden hoardings blocking out any view of the river or what is happening behind the hoardings.

It will be dramatic and traumatic, especially as trade at the moment is so volatile for us all.

Despite it all, most businesses will be keeping open – we have to, the alternative is to go bust and loose everything.

We hope that during the works our loyal customers will continue to visit Pier Road and see what’s going on and support the many small independent businesses that operate in Pier Road.

We also hope that we can enjoy a good working relationship with the Environment Agencies Contractors and also those working on behalf of Arun District Council.

Work begins!

A positive and product meeting.

Following the pre-planned Pier Road Traders meeting with representatives from the Environment Agency and Arun District Council, we were pleased that the originally works planned to begin on the 3rd September 2012 have now been postponed until the first week in October. This taking in concerns that partially closing Pier Road to vehicular traffic and closing off the river-side footpath would cause too much disruption during September, which is traditionally a very busy month for the road.

So it was agreed that the first exploratory drilling would take place in Arun Parade, with the works and associated disruption to Pier Road due to take place in October.

Today, Thursday 18th September 201, exploratory drilling works begins in Arun Parade with the first bore hole being bored by the EA’s contractor, Furgo UK.

Drilling in Arun Parade Littlehampton

Once the results of the exploratory drilling are available, work will then begin on the actual design of the Sea Defences. At our meeting, the EA outlined a preliminary timetable as follows:

September/October – 2012 – exploratory drilling work and analysis of the same.

November – Once the EA and their Contractors know exactly what lies beneath the sea following the drilling, the actual design of the Sea Defence will take place. So at this stage, there isn’t a finished design of what the actual sea defences will look like.

While no actual date to carry out the building of the  sea defences has been set at this early stage, it’s anticipated that works will commence Autumn 2013 with the project, including the enhancement of Pier Road and the new walkways etc being completed by Spring 2014.

Undoubtedly, these works will change the future of Littlehampton’s Seafront Sea defences for generations to come and hopefully bring about a whole new regeneration for Pier Road and it’s environs.

What did come out of our meeting, which is both a worry and a disappointment is that Arun District Council do not have a final plan for their enhancements to Pier Road. While understandably the Environment Agency cannot complete their underwater design of the sea defence  until the results of the exploratory drilling are known, they stressed that the above ground area would remain the same, regardless.

But, Arun District Council, despite spending money on Consultants/designers fees, public workshops, stakeholder’s workshops, have yet to actually come up with a final design, or even decide about future parking and traffic flow arrangements for Pier Road, which I find worrying.

What follows is a number of pictures of the first bore hole from the yellow mark in the road, to the actual installation of the Drilling equipment.

First mark for the first bore hole, Arun Parade Littlehampton

Erection of the safety fencing

Environment Agency signage describing the works

Drilling equipment now in place

Sea Defences work in Littlehampton Harbour