Littlehampton Harbour, views from the Crane

A huge thanks to Eric Smethurst and his colleagues at VolkerStevin for providing me with these super pictures of MV Victress entering Littlehampton Harbour.

MV Victress is owned by Faversham Ships, Holland and is usually based at East Cowes.

These photographs were taken by VolkerStevin’s staff working in Pier Road  from a basket hanging from the crane and give a unique view of Littlehampton harbour, including the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea defences.

These photographs have been taken so all parties involved in the construction of Littlehampton Sea Defences  can monitor the behaviour of a large ship entering Littlehampton Harbour and see what if any impact the new sea defences may have.

Remember to click on the pictures to see an enlarged view.

Littlehampton harbour 1

Littlehampton Harbour’s Pilot Boat enters the harbour to ensure the way is clear.

MV Victress was built in 1992 at Rosslauer Shipyard Elbe as the Lass Mars.

Her length in the water is 74.94m

Littlehampton harbour 2

A quick view of Littlehampton’s sea defence works while the photographer waits for the boat to arrive.

Littlehampton harbour 3

A terrific ‘bird’s eye’ view of the recently constructed crane bridge which is carrying the 130 tonne crane along Pier Road.

Littlehampton harbour 4

A splendid view of Littlehampton’s Oyster Pond. Built at some time during the 1700s.

It was originally used as area to store freshly landed fish and oysters, prior to their being taken by road to their onward destinations. This was in effect a then ‘modern day’ refrigeration until. In 1735, Littlehampton had a new river mouth channel cut and a wooden harbour erected. It was around this time that the Oyster Pond would have been constructed. I had previously thought it was constructed in the 180os, but according to books in Littlehampton library, they record its construction as being in the 1700s. In any event it’s one of Littlehampton’s oldest structures.

Littlehampton harbour 5

MV Victress entering Littlehampton Harbour. As you can see the crane basket was quite literally perched above it!

She has two movable bulkheads giving 7 different stows.

Her main engines are  2 x Cummins KTA19m rated 748kw

And she has a Electric Bowthruster: 100KW to help turn her around.

Littlehampton harbour 6a

You can see one of the ship’s crew members looking up at the crane basket on the left hand side (our left looking down at it)

Littlehampton harbour 6

 

MV Victress passes under the crane basket on route to be unloaded at Railway Wharf.

Littlehampton harbour 7

A great picture showing how high up the photographer is….

The progress with the construction sea defences is now apparent and as you can see the contractors are now steaming ahead. It won’t be long before the South End reach (Arun Parade) meets the North Reach (Pier Road). All piling in these two areas are on target to finish now in May. Good news, as we won’t have the banging anymore.

Littlehampton harbour 10

I think the colours of the buildings in the new East Bank riverside development and really striking and really enhance Littlehampton harbour.

Littlehampton harbour 11

Littlehampton’s Look and Sea! on the right hand side and Arun Yacht Club on the left hand side. Arun Yacht Club also offer visitor’s moorings, so if you’re planning to visit Littlehampton harbour, do call them in advance to book your space.

littlehampton harbour 14

Littlehampton’s iconic ‘red footbridge’ has opened to allow MV Victress make its final maneuver where it will moor alongside the quay.

Once again, many thanks to Eric and his colleagues at VolkerStevin for allowing me to use these pictures and keeping us updated on their works.

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As always, thanks for reading.

 

#Littlehampton Sea Defence update

Work is really flying along now in Pier Road as the Environment Agency’s Contractor VolkerStevin makes steady progress.

Littlehampton Sea Defences 4

Pictured above is how Pier Road junction with Arun Parade is now looking – the crane has moved South along Pier Road and you can just see the tops of the recently installed piles rising above the height of the road. Don’t forget to click on the pictures to expand them to give a better view.

Flood Defences 4

This was the scene only a couple of weeks ago when VolkerStevin were building the shingle ramp to enable the crane to access the especially created crane bridge.

Littlehampton Sea Defences 5

The 130 tonne Crane is now pretty much of out sight of the junction with South Terrace. Eric Smethurst, VolkerStevin’s Public Liaison Manager tells me that they’re still on target to complete the piling in Pier Road sometime in May, which is good news.

Littlehampton Sea Defences 1

This is the scene now in Pier Road  – a hive of activity and it’s fascinating to watch the piling up close. We’re getting lots of visitors to Pier Road who are interested in the engineering side of things. Do remember if you’re coming to see the works, search out Eric Smethurst in the visitor centre just by the Oyster Pond. Eric’s visitor centre is full of interesting drawings and facts about the project.

Littlehampton Sea Defences 3

This is what the area beneath the piling looks like close-up. You can see that the contractors are backfilling the area behind the recently installed piles with shingle. This is as I understand it, to ensure that the piles are kept in place to allow the crane bridge sit on them as it drives along Pier Road.

Littlehampton Sea Defences 6

Quite a sight – the crane sitting high above Pier Road on its platform as it drives the next batch of piles in.

Crane Bridge

Photographs can be a bit misleading when it comes to the sheer size of the crane and its specially created ‘crane bridge or platform’. Click on the above picture and you  get a sense of just how big it is. This bridge sits with one half on Pier Road and the other half sits (quite amazingly) on the piles they’ve just installed.

Piling gate

Above is a picture of the piling gate being made ready for the next batch of piles. Once each batch of piles are successfully driven into the river bed, the gate has to be reassembled and then rebuilt to take the next batch. Easy to see why this isn’t a quick process and more importantly, why there can be no reliable completion date as there are so many factors which will determine its progress.

If you missed the video of the crane mounting the bridge, I’ve now managed to get it uploaded to the site and it features below.

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Update: Littlehampton Sea Defences, £400,000 Crane Bridge arrives

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 2The massive £400,000 Crane Bridge is currently being installed in Pier Road.

This enormous structure will carry the crane along Pier Road as it drives in each pile.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 1Environment Agency’s sea defence contractor VolkerStevin appeared to have overcome, what has so far proved the greatest engineering challenge in the construction of  Littlehampton’s Sea Defences by creating this £400,000 crane bridge. You can read more about why the Crane Bridge has been needed here.

The Bridge has been especially created to carry the weight of the Crane along Pier Road while keeping weight off Pier Road by straddling the road and sitting on the piling structures.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 8Here you can see the new crane bridge in position and being worked on to get it ready.

Once finished the crane will sit on this platform and will work it’s way along Pier Road.

Crane in Pier RoadOnce ready, this crane will be driven onto the Crane Bridge where it will begin the piling works in Pier Road. It’s a challenging job as once each ‘gateway of piles’ are driven in their final home in the river bed, the bridge will then have to be moved forward onto to these piles to begin on the next batch.

Piling gateThis is the ‘piling gate’ which the piles are loaded into before being driven into the ground.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 8Piles being driven into the ground, which have been loaded into the piling gate.

As you can see, it’s not an easy, or a quick task and when you see the sheer logistical problems you get an idea as why the project has been delayed so much.

Look and Sea!Littlehampton’s Look and Sea! Centre’s iconic viewpoint framed by the new Crane bridge.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 6Work underway today (Wednesday, 19th February 2014) on installing the new crane bridge.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 3The sheer size of this new crane bridge has to been seen in the ‘flesh’ to understand how vast it is. It will be an amazing sight to see the Crane on top of this bridge, and if Littlehampton ever needed a new visitor attraction, then this is it.

VolkerStevin have indicated that they expect Piling works to be completed in Pier Road by May 2014. Only once the piling has been completed can the works begin on the back filling and concreting necessary to create the actual ‘wall’ and capping that will sit both behind and above the piles.

It’s a long, challenging difficult engineering process.

Littlehampton Sea Defence Piling worksMeanwhile piling work continues at the harbour entrance. If you pop up there you can great views of what’s happening as you can in Pier Road.

Come and witness history being made.

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Littlehampton Sea Defence Works gets underway.

The first in what I aim to be regular pictorial updates on the Sea Defence Works taking place in Pier Road, Littlehampton.

Week 1

At 5.35pm on Monday, 21st October, Pier Road was closed to vehicular traffic.

Pier Road closedAn eerie quiet descended on Pier Road as the traffic suddenly stopped but this was short lived as a number of motorists decided to ignore the Road Closed Signs, stop, get out of their vehicles, move the cones and then drive through regardless.

This pretty much continued until the following day when the contractors began erecting the heras fencing. Even then some drivers still drove through, but not in the same numbers as the previous evening.

However, no sooner was the road closed and it was open again as the result of a car crash in New Road junction Bayford Road.

Bayford road has now become the alternative route for traffic that would normally travel down Pier Road. Obviously, we can’t attribute the car crash on the traffic diversions, but it resulted in the contractors re-opening Pier Road for a period to allow traffic come down Pier Road while Bayford road was closed. Let’s hope there’s no more such traffic crashes or incidents, as Pier Road won’t be so easily opened in the future now the heras fencing and site infrastructure is in place.

Car accident in Bayford Road LittlehamptonThe traffic collision in New Road where two motor cars collided with each other with the silver car crashing into the Mobile Phone Shop’s window.

With this being the weekend of the bonfire celebrations, I raised concerns that given the potentially large flow of pedestrians that usually come down Pier Road, it would be perhaps a good idea if they left an extra wide gap for these large numbers to pass through.

Sergeant Roy Hodder, our always-helpful local Police Sergeant liaised with the site manager and between them they ensured that Pier Road had sufficient width to accommodate the numbers. Sadly, as events transpired the bonfire and parade were cancelled owing to the awful weather and Pier Road was quite literally void of it’s usual crowds.

I think the increased footway, which pretty much was a single carriage way wide led alot of people into a false sense of security and also perhaps gave a misleading impression as to how Pier Road will be for the duration of the works.

Surprisingly, no one I spoke to, apart from the businesses owners seemed to have any idea of why the road was closed. There seems to be a general unawareness that these works were due to take place.

Despite the awful weather, the Environment Agency have confirmed that they achieved all their first week’s goals and they’re on target.

These goals included:

  1. Closing the roads
  2. Erecting the heras fencing
  3. Completing road surveys and various other works that they’ve been unable to do while the road was open
  4. Preparations began for the new site for Riverside Fish Kiosk.

Our own business in Pier Road (Coastal Cycles) had a welcome boost to our sales with the sale of a fleet of four bikes to VolkerStevin the contractor whose building the scheme.

The bikes will be used by the contractors to cycle to and from the various locations that they’re operating from. Remember, or if you’re already not aware that this Project comprises of a number of areas divided up into  a number of ‘Reaches’ with the main contractors HQ now located at Railway Wharf in Littlehampton Harbour Board’s land.

 Reach 1  – Arun Parade

Reach 2 – Pier Road

Reach 3 – River Road

Environment Agency Bikes for the SchemeRepresentatives from the Environment Agency, VolkerStevin and the directors of Coastal Cycles hand over the new bikes for use during the scheme, which I am delighted to say, are already in regular use.

Week 2

The following Monday morning, work began on placing the heras fencing into its final position in preparation for the main works to come.

Littlehampton Sea Defence worksIt’s hard to describe how different the road feels with this reduced width. The pavement area is now only 2 metres wide something we all argued about during the consultation process as not being wide enough.

There were some shocked faces when they saw just how narrow this pavement is going to be. Remember, it’s going to be like this until June 2014. I can’t imagine the Easter weekend, let alone early summer.

You could argue, of course that this is nothing narrower than the existing pavement as was pointed out to us during the consultation process. However, as we pointed out back – you must measure this against the loss of the opposite side pavement and the fact you no longer side step momentarily into the road to create space for passing buggies, mobility scooters, pushchairs, prams and, how do I say this without causing offense? The wider amongst us..

Pier Road works by Environment AgencyAbove shows just how narrow the pavement really is and I think this is going to be one of the biggest challenges of the scheme – the free flow of pedestrian traffic.

Pier Road Sea Defence worksTo everyone’s relief the Green portable building pictured earlier was removed and is now located by the Oyster Pond. This green building will be the Scheme’s Information Centre and will be manned by Eric Smethurst, the scheme’s public liaison officer. And what a great guy he is. When we were first told by the Project Manager that the scheme would have a Liaison officer, my thoughts turned to bureaucracy personified with a high viz jacket and a rule book. But, Eric is just what’s needed for this scheme. A man whose enthusiasm and laughter is infectious and obviously loves what he does and has enormous engineering experience with projects just like this one.

I’m delighted to say that Eric has agreed to take part in a future  interview with the Pier Road Diaries where we’ll get an opportunity to ask him about his Visitor Information Centre, which incidentally, should be operational early next week, and his role.

Visitor Information Centre for the Sea DefencesThe Green Building located by the Oyster Pond is the scheme’s Visitor Information Centre, manned by Eric Smethhurst who’ll be happy to answer any questions and talk you through the details of how the flood defences will be built. There will also be lots of visuals and useful information.

works in Pier Road LittlehamptonAll the charter fishing boats have now been relocated to the Visitors Mooring area and local firm, Littlehampton Welding LTD have been busy working on the pontoons now that everything is being moved around.

Sea Defence work LittlehamptonThe ‘Nelson Steps’ have now been removed. These being the steps at the back of the Riverside Fish Kiosk and are regularly used by the local fishermen to land their catch to the fish kiosk. I’m not too sure where they’ll land their fish in the future as the whole area will be off limits for some time to come. Knowing Bob (the owner of the kiosk), I’d imagine he’s got it sussed.

Sea Defence Works LittlehamptonI had a very interesting and informative chat with the crane operator/driver who explained that this crane is a ’40 tonner’ and a mere baby to the 100 tonner that is due to arrive in Littlehampton next Wednesday. This larger crane will be used to lift in the heavy duty equipment to drive in the piles

At a previous consultation meeting, Andy Hills from VolkerStevin explained they will be using a ‘Vibro Piling Hammer’, which apparently, despite it’s name reduces the likelyhood of vibration on the surrounding area.

So if you want to see the heavy duty equipment arrive and be installed, next Wednesday (6th November) is the scheduled day for it all too arrive.

Fish Kiosk LittlehamptonThe Riverside Fish Kiosk, Pier Road’s hugely popular Fish Mongers is closed at the moment. This was pre-planned as the contractor needs to prepare the kiosk ready to be moved to it’s new, temporary location opposite the Nelson Hotel.  I spoke to the contractor earlier today and he explained to me although it will be lifted by the 40tonne crane, it won’t be specatularly flying through the air on it’s journey, more of being lifted a couple of mms off the ground and carefully, very carefully swung into position.

Once the Fish Kiosk re-opens, we’ll tweet this to our followers – so please make sure if you want to keep up-todate with all that’s going on you follow the Pier Road Diaries Twitter account @Pier_Road  make sure also you sign up to receive an email to advise you when the Pier Road Diaries are updated. With the scheme now underway, I’m hoping for at least twice weekly photo-blog posts, hopefully more.

All going to plan and on-time?

There’s been criticism that the Environment Agency haven’t yet erected the large banners they’d promised, advertising that all our businesses are open, haven’t yet been erected.

I have to take some of the blame for this as despite Andrew Walker’s (Environment Agency) continued reminders to me about supplying our logos, I’m afraid I didn’t get them to him until the Friday before before the road closed. But, I wasn’t the only one….(you know who you are)

In terms of time-scales.

At our last consultation meeting, we were given a presentation by the Contractor, Andy Hills who outlined the first three week’s programme and without boring you with a blow-by-blow programme, the project is on target, despite the appalling weather.

Can I just say a big thank you to Eric and his colleagues from VolkerStevin and Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency for being so helpful in allowing me to take pictures for the Diaries and also answer my many questions. With this sort of co-operation I should be able to keep you updated with all that’s going on.

And, please do remember, Pier Road is open as usual and there’s free car parking available in the West Green Car Park – just look out for the signs.

Littlehampton