Sunderland City Council has earmarked £3.1 million for repairs to Sunderland’s coastal defences, which were badly damaged by spring storms.
Yesterday (Wednesday 25th April) the council’s cabinet agreed to fund a series of repairs to the Old North Pier, New South Pier and Stonehill Wall.
Storms in March have been assessed as causing ‘significant damage’ to the structures.
The estimated £3.1 million costs will be met from the council’s capital budget.
Sunderland City Council’s chief operating officer, Cllr Les Clark, said that repairs to the Old North Pier would get underway as soon as possible.
Cllr Clark said, “The construction of the Old North Pier began in the late 18th century as part of the development of the Port of Sunderland and (the pier) is now over 200-years-old.”
“It protects the Port of Sunderland and residential properties, as well as the beach itself, and it is important that we undertake these repairs.”
“All these repairs should prevent the damage from getting worse and therefore reduce the risk of mounting costs in the future.”
The first part of the work on the Old North Pier will involve stabilising the eroded sections of the structure. The next stage will include sheet piling and concreting.
The Old North Pier helps protect Marine Walk Beach and stops sediment accumulating in the Port of Sunderland’s navigation channels. Without the pier, it is estimated that port dredging work could cost £100,000 a year.
The plans for repair work to Stonehill Wall and New South Pier are currently being finalised.
The council’s estimates of the work that needs to be done and the costs involved are as follows:
- Old North Pier. The cost of the work is estimated at £1.25 million. Much of this is because March’s storms led to the loss of a 35-metre section of the pier. Rock revetments and a sheet pile wall have been proposed as a suitable means of repair.
- New South Pier. It is estimated that repairs to this pier will cost £0.35 million, thanks to the loss of sections of the 850-metre structure’s concrete deck and granite coping. Parts of these can hopefully be reclaimed and reused though new concrete decking will also be needed.
- Stonehill Wall. As the storms seriously damaged the 240-metre-long wall’s concrete deck, costs are estimated at £1.5 million. The repairs will include a new, reinforced concrete deck and splashwall.
The works on all three structures are expected to take between eight and 20 weeks to complete.
Sunderland’s Roker Pier and Lighthouse were recently reopened to the public after sustaining storm damage in November.
(The featured image shows the damage to Sunderland’s Old North Pier.)